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Red Hot Passion

At first glance, Natasha Edwards might seem like your typical mom next door. But this mommy wears many other hats. Wife. Businesswoman. And firefighter! The best part? She rocks each one of them.

Natasha Edwards realised early on what makes her tick. Working on different projects, expanding not one, but multiple skill sets, and embracing opportunities that challenge her to come up with innovative solutions. And so the dynamic world of marketing seemed the perfect fit.

“I’ve always been fascinated with marketing. And after some decades in the field, it still intrigues me. It’s an ever-evolving field that still allows me to explore the depths of human connection and constantly pushes me to uncover creative ways to engage with audiences.

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“Since I’m in waste management, the fundamental purpose resonates deeply with me – striving to find solutions to waste challenges and repurpose it, effectively turning it into a valuable resource. I believe this is the core reason I’m so in love with what I do.”

Growing up, Natasha was set to pursue either medicine or the creative industry. Although she is happy with her choice, the starry-eyed girl inside her was still desperate for some hands-on experience in the medical field. Serious about making a positive impact on the world.

So, when the opportunity arose to delve deeper into the world of medicine through first aid training for work, she grabbed it with both hands.

“Throughout my life I faced an internal struggle between embarking on a full-time seven-year journey in the medical field, or exploring my creative side through marketing. So, when I received the first aid training, it ignited that very passion within me and I decided to nurture it alongside my other aspirations.”

With her healthy dose of passion to help people, Natasha found herself gravitating more and more toward the service industry. So much so that she advanced to Level 3 First Aid, which enables her to provide more advanced assistance in emergency situations.

When the devastating wildfires ripped through Knysna in 2017, Natasha simply couldn’t ignore the plea for help. Within 24 hours she and firefighter hubby Kyle found themselves on a flight to George in hopes of providing assistance in any way possible.

“Working alongside so many selfless firefighters, witnessing their bravery and dedication deeply moved me. They risked their lives to save complete strangers and it was just such an awe-inspiring sight.”

Although admitting she never for a moment thought about becoming a firefighter, it’s as if something sparked – quite literally – during her time in Knysna. Natasha fell hook, line and sinker in love with the beautiful act of service.

“Being surrounded by these incredible individuals and the profound camaraderie we shared played a significant role in my decision to become a firefighter. Their bravery, courage and unwavering dedication left an indelible mark on me. It was just a truly unforgettable experience that solidified my desire to make a difference.”

That, and of course, her hubby whose first-hand accounts gave her a glimpse of the profound fulfilment and purpose that comes with being a firefighter.


So, when she decided she wanted a career in volunteer firefighting she simply set fire to any stigma that stood in her way. And, to those who say women can’t be firefighters? Natasha simply laughs, saying: “Hold my Halligan and watch this!”

Raised with the belief that women are capable of doing anything men can do – and perhaps even looking better doing it – Natasha always makes time for training sessions, improving herself to overcome any physical challenges that might stand in her way.

While acknowledging there may be physical differences between her and her male counterparts, she doesn’t allow it to limit her potential. In fact, it motivates her even more.

“My mom and late gran played pivotal roles in shaping who I am today. They’ve instilled in me the values of determination, self-belief and standing up for what I want in life. To this day I am surrounded by a network of influential women who continue to inspire me each day. I draw upon their insights, knowledge and experiences to propel myself forward and reach new heights.”

When Natasha isn’t working on new marketing strategies, fabulously beating the stereotypes or working out, she will most probably be found hitting the books.

Continuously soaking up knowledge, because a hungry mind is almost never satisfied. A firm believer in the power of intellectual growth, for Natasha there’s no such thing as enough knowledge – especially in her fields of expertise.

But it’s not only studying that brings her joy – she and husband have loads of fun with their 10-year-old son, Tyron, and two-year-old toddler Jolee. Although Natasha has a crazy schedule, she will always set aside special bonding time with her family.

“My family will always be my top priority. Building and nurturing strong relationships with my loved ones is crucial to me. I love dedicating quality time to my family, always ensuring their needs are met and that we create lasting memories together.”

Despite everything that keeps her on her feet, she finds immense joy in the simple pleasures of life. Cooking, painting, singing, laughing, and dancing with her kids are some of the things that light up her world.

With a zest for life, an unyielding love for her children and a creative spirit, she hopes to challenge gender norms and inspire young minds, empowering youngsters to pursue their dreams and aspirations, regardless of their gender.

One thing is certain. This vibrant firefighter is passionate about many things, but to be able to save a life clearly tops her list.

Details: Follow CGFA Firefighters – NPC on Facebook and @tashie001 on Insta.

5 Ways to survive and thrive in a male-dominated industry

• Focus on your goals. Stay focused on your own path and don’t let minor obstacles or distractions deter you from achieving your goals. Stay committed to your vision and keep pushing forward.

• Develop resilience. In a male-dominated industry, you may face criticism, scepticism, or even discrimination. Develop resilience and a thick skin to navigate through such challenges. Don’t take things personally and remain steadfast in your determination.

• Seek support and mentorship. Connect with other women who have experience in your industry. Seek their advice, learn from their experiences, and build a support network. Having mentors and peers who understand your unique challenges can provide guidance and encouragement.

• Be confident and assertive. Project confidence in your abilities and ideas. Speak up, share your opinions, and contribute to discussions. Be assertive, when necessary, without compromising your professionalism. Let your competence and expertise shine through.

• Embrace your unique perspective. Recognise the value of your unique perspective and contributions as a woman in a male-dominated industry. Embrace your strengths and bring your authentic self to your work. Your diverse insights and experiences can bring fresh ideas and innovation to the table.

Top 7 traits of a successful firefighter

• Adaptability and a willingness to learn. Successful firefighters are constantly learning and adapting to new situations. They possess a growth mindset and actively seek opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills.

• Risk awareness and preparedness. Firefighting is a dangerous profession, and successful firefighters understand the risks involved. They prioritise safety protocols, undergo regular training, and have a plan in place for emergency situations.

• Emotional resilience and support. Dealing with traumatic events is part of a firefighter’s job. Successful firefighters recognise the importance of seeking emotional support and professional help when needed. They have coping mechanisms to process and manage the stress and trauma associated with the job.

• Physical fitness and strength. Firefighting requires physical endurance and strength. Successful firefighters maintain a high level of physical fitness to perform their duties effectively. They engage in regular exercise and training to ensure they can handle the physical demands of the job.

• Teamwork and collaboration. Firefighting is a team effort, and successful firefighters understand the value of effective teamwork. They communicate well, respect their colleagues, and work together to achieve common goals. They contribute positively to the team dynamic and are reliable and supportive teammates.

• Critical thinking and problem-solving. Successful firefighters possess strong problem-solving skills and the ability to think quickly and rationally under pressure. They assess situations, analyse information, and make informed decisions to resolve emergencies effectively.

• Courage and confidence: Firefighters face challenging and potentially life-threatening situations. Successful firefighters demonstrate courage in the face of danger, maintaining a calm and confident demeanour. They trust their training, skills, and instincts, enabling them to take decisive action when needed.


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