Shazia Parveen is making the nation proud with her achievements. She is Pakistan’s first-ever female firefighter and is now training the future generation of firefighters in the country.
Ten years ago, Shazia enrolled in a training course at Rescue 1122 and started working at the Vehari fire station. Putting out fires in fields and factories were some of her daily challenges.
How did her journey as a female firefighter begin?
Talking to a local media outlet, Shazia Parveen shared her story.
“I knew it was going to be different, something out of the ordinary, but I didn’t realize it would involve firefighting. In fact, I didn’t know until after the training began that I was the first female firefighter in the country.”
But when she was promoted as a fire instructor at the Punjab Emergency Services Academy Lahore in 2016, she was encouraged to train both men and women in the respective field.
As her father is a retired military officer, all of her siblings were taught to choose a profession where they could help other people and serve their country. Hence, her family and other people in the district were very supportive of her occupation.
“Of course, sometimes they are a little shocked to see a female as a first responder. But they are in their offices or homes and I am out [on these missions] doing this job for them and they truly appreciate it.”
Shazia Parveen is an inspiration for many
Since 2016, Shazia has been training future firefighters of the country, where many of her recruits are women. The number of her trainees has exceeded 1,000 people per year in a program that takes about six months to complete.
“It’s exciting to see the growing number of female recruits, though most of them come in to train as EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) for an ambulance response. However, it’s heartening to see some of them join the fire rescue training as well.”
Thinking about her time with the service, Shazia said,
“I was always treated with respect and supported by my colleagues. I am also proud to be training these firefighters today. All men and women must be encouraged to serve your country by joining such professions.”
Being the first firefighter of the country, she hopes to inspire other women with her story.
“I take care of people and their properties. Everything they have in their lives is my responsibility to protect, and that’s empowering. I hope my visibility brings more women into this field.”