Earlier this month Madawaska Valley council approved Monika Sawiak as the new fire captain for their south hall in Combermere. She is the first female fire fighter to hold that position in Madawaska Valley.
Local Fire Chief Corwin Quade, who appointed Sawiak, spoke highly of her dedication and work ethic in her 11 years of service in the region.
In an interview with My Bancroft Now, Sawiak spoke about how she became a firefighter:
“When I first moved here from Oakville, I didn’t know anybody in the area” said Sawiak. “ I just wanted to get busy and help people in my community. I like being hands-on and being on the move all the time. And I just wanted to try it and I loved it”
“It keeps me out of trouble” she then said with a laugh.
Sawiak who also works full time in healthcare expressed her deep gratitude for the appointment, also for her community and fellow firefighters who she said feel like a family.
Sawiak said she hopes her work as a firefighter can inspire other young women in the field.
According to the Canadian Association of Firefighters census approximately 11% of firefighters in Canada are women.