NATION

Vugakoto Stands Tall Among Men

It was more than a special day for firefighter graduate Neli Vugakoto. Not only was she among the 10 women who were part of the National Fire Authority passing-out parade,
12 Dec 2019 18:08
Vugakoto Stands Tall Among Men
National Fire Authority passing out parade, (from left) Joeli Lesivanawa with the most outstanding division on parade award, Akuila Ciqa with the best all rounder award, Neli Vugakoto with the highest aggregate award, Best Student in Drill, Vereti Naruku with the best Student in drill award and Eremodo Ratu with best barrack inspection award at the Navy Training base in Togalevu Veisari, Lami on December 11, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

It was more than a special day for firefighter graduate Neli Vugakoto.

Not only was she among the 10 women who were part of the National Fire Authority passing-out parade, she was also presented with the highest academic award as a Probation Firefighter.

Surprised by the announcement during the parade yesterday at the Togalevu Naval Training Base, the 19-year-old from Kadavu said: “I thank the Lord Almighty for giving me wisdom and knowledge so I could become one of the best firefighters. Special thanks also to my instructors for acknowledging my hard work.

“Ten weeks of hard work with less sleep was one of the biggest challenges I faced but I managed to tackle all the obstacles.”

A total of 68 recruits were part of the parade.

Joeli Lesivanuanawa, 20, from Lau, received the Best Platoon Award.

“I will be able to save lives and save communities when a fire breaks out,” he said.

“I have been away from my family for 10 weeks and I was waiting for this day so I can show my family that I have done it.”

Chief guest and Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) Commissioner, Commander Francis Kean, was pleased to note the inclusion of the 10 women among the batch of graduating recruits.

68 new recruits pass out during the National Fire Authority passing out parade at the Navy Training base at Togalevu Veisari, Lami on December 11, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

68 new recruits pass out during the National Fire Authority passing out parade at the Navy Training base at Togalevu Veisari, Lami on December 11, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

“This has been the highest number of females so far,” he said.

“This inclusion of females in this predominantly male environment proves that together they can all make a difference in our community, in building a fire safe and prosperous Fiji.

“I wish you all the very best in your careers with the NFA, and to stress to you how much we all value your great service to us.”

The commissioner also commended the 10 training instructors for their commitment and dedication throughout the 10 weeks of training.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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