03 August 2020, By DeafAdmin
Signing on the Front Line
People who want to learn Auslan come from all walks of life, and Kylie, a recent student of Deaf Services’ Auslan courses, is no exception.
Kylie completed a Certificate II in Auslan at the Gold Coast, fitting in learning a new language around a hectic schedule which included being on the front line of the recent bushfire crisis.
As a Fire Communications Officer with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Kylie’s role involves answering 000 calls, dispatching trucks to incidents and other emergency communications.
“Being the first point of call on someone’s worst day is something special,” she says. “It’s job that is challenging but rewarding.”
Kylie wanted to learn Auslan to better communicate with the Deaf community as a representative of emergency services. Kylie has been a volunteer firefighter for her local Rural Fire Brigade since 2016, and is currently in the assessment phase of becoming a full-time firefighter.
During the height of the bushfires at Sarabah in the Gold Coast hinterland, Kylie was completing Auslan classes while also working 14 hour shifts at the Sarabah Incident Control Centre, as well as fighting fires!
“She is amazing,” says Kylie’s Auslan teacher Ashleigh. “She has a real passion for Auslan, and for helping others.”
Kylie says she would like to see more Emergency Services staff learning the primary language of the Deaf Community.
“For staff on the ground, it would definitely provide a stronger sense of community whilst building trust and relationships. We do a lot of community work and education sessions at schools, and community events. We need to make sure the whole community feels safe and included.”
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