Youth Committee Chairperson
Iesha Pugh was born and raised in Carnarvon, a coastal town situated at the mouth of the Gascoyne River, approximately 900 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia.
Since 2009, Iesha has been volunteering for Volunteer Marine Rescue. Because of her experience as a radio operator and managing numerous successful search and rescue operations, Iesha was recognised for her efforts and received the Volunteer Marine Rescue Youth Achievement Award in 2013. It was around this time, Iesha decided she wanted to try something new and joined the Carnarvon Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service.
“My dad, who was the Volunteer Marine Rescue Commander, was weary about me joining another emergency service but he, and the team, have seen the benefits of having a link between the two groups,” explains Iesha. “Currently we have four dual registered members and have a great relationship between the two services.”
Over the last 10 years, Iesha has held the positions of Lieutenant, Apparatus Officer and Secretary / Treasurer with Carnarvon Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service. She has found each role beneficial to gain a deep understanding of issues that the brigade faces, in particular logistical ones, that previously she took for granted.
Like most Volunteer Fire and Rescue brigades, Carnarvon has a family focused culture.
“The brigade is very family oriented. It is not unusual to have a dozen children on station for busy bees and social events,” says Iesha. “It’s like having our very own extended family!”
Iesha enjoys the satisfaction of helping the community. “I enjoy being able to be part of something that impacts the community positively,” says Iesha. Assisting the town and surrounding areas isn’t limited to extinguishing bush or structural fires and attending road crash rescues. Iesha also enjoys visiting schools and giving children the knowledge to stay safe around fire.
In 2022, Iesha decided to step up and join the VFRS Association’s Youth Committee and became their Chairperson in February of 2023. “The Youth Committee’s goal is to create solutions that overcome the current barriers brigades face,” explains Iesha. “And to help them successfully recruit and retain members, with a focus on younger people in particular.”
When Iesha isn’t volunteering for Marine Rescue, Fire and Rescue, the VFRS Association Youth Committee or at her children’s day care centre, she is a mum to two young boys and works as a Project Support Officer for Horizon Power.