Dawsha Maximenko, assistant chief at Christina Lake Fire and Rescue, has been serving with the department since 2019. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Dawsha Maximenko, assistant chief at Christina Lake Fire and Rescue, has been serving with the department since 2019. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Women firefighters of the Boundary series: Christina Lake

‘It doesn’t matter what time we’re called out — we go,’ says Christina Lake Fire and Rescue’s Dawsha Maximenko

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Grand Forks Gazette’s print feature on women firefighters in the Boundary, published during this year’s fire prevention week, Oct. 3 – 9.

Whether she’s on-call or working at the hall, assistant fire chief Dawsha Maximenko never far from Christina Lake Fire and Rescue.

She and her husband Sandy Hagel serve together, Maximenko as a chief officer, Hagel as a fire captain. Sharing their commitment makes it easier on their home life, but it’s hard to leap out of bed when your pager goes off at 3 a.m. — even while your significant other’s doing the same thing.

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“It doesn’t matter what time we’re called out — we go,” she said.

But every call is a chance to serve her community, which is precisely why she joined in 2019.

She’d already been volunteering at the department, whether that was helping to lay sandbags during a flood or assessing fire hazards along utility lines.

Now a bona fide firefighter, she said her experience has been very rewarding.

“The training aspect involves a big commitment, but it’s well worth it,” she said.

Anyone who sticks with the department is free to pursue any number of certification courses, she continued. “We do a wide range of things here — not just fire. Whether it’s a rope rescue or a vehicle extrication or a medical first-response, there’s something for you.”


 

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