JODIE Lynch is a woman in a male-dominated industry who can definitely handle the heat.
Having thick skin and a strong mind are some of the attributes the Torquay fire fighter believes are essential for a woman looking to make battling blazes their career choice.
Jodie is the only permanent female firefighter in the Hervey Bay and Maryborough area.
The mother-of-two is a tomboy at heart and after joining Queensland Fire and Emergency Services 17 years ago she couldn't imagine life any other way.
"My first day on the job I was a bit shocked being the only girl in the recruit course, but I was determined to see it through," Jodie said.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Station Officer John Pappas said gone are the days where firefighting is seen as a man's job.
"It is definitely not the case anymore," Officer Pappas said.
"You do have to be prepared though - it is a challenging career, and recruitment is often very competitive," he said.
Officer Pappas said it has never been about gender.
"We train and work as a team where everyone puts in.
It is a dynamic environment and the diverse range of skills that all of our fire-fighters bring to the table value-adds to an incident."
When Jodie first joined, she had just lost her sister to cancer and doesn't know what she would have done without the support of the firefighting community.
"I work with some really great blokes, very supportive," she said.
Jodie said as a female fire fighter she believes there is a constant challenge to prove herself.
The determined firefighter follows a strict fitness regime to maintain her cardio and strength.
"You have to be thick skinned and be able to handle the heat," Jodie said.
"Guys tend to look at the logistics, where women have a softer approach."
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