A NEW program to help women get involved and get the most out of volunteering in the Country Fire Authority was launched yesterday as part of bushfire action week.The Women and Fire mentoring program is designed to develop the participation and leadership potential of women who volunteer with the Country Fire Authority. Only 19 per cent of Victorian CFA volunteers are women and this new program is aimed at expanding involvement to better reflect community demographics.A CFA volunteer since the early 1980s, Moyne councillor and steering committee chairwoman Jill Parker said she hoped the program would help women get the most out of volunteering."I became involved due to my family involvement and as a farmer that's what you do to support the local community," she said. Project steering committee member and Sustaining Volunteerism Initiative project facilitator Bernadette Northeast said mentoring women would help improve the capacity of CFA brigades in south-west Victoria. "We have an enormous range of roles from physically active to support roles, so there are plenty of options," Ms Northeast said. Cr Parker is a qualified firefighter who has been part of strike teams which have battled blazes in the Grampians and has attended major fires in Victoria but she is alo trained in incident management and communications.Cr Parker encouraged women to think about how they could take part in training for the range of rewarding roles at the CFA."It's a little bit scary at time to think of all the responsibility and risk but it's good to be part of a trained and skilled group which provide a network of support," she said."Training safety is a major part of the CFA, all volunteer are well trained and skills and with that comes confidence."The program will include training workshops, mentoring and goal setting and building relationships with other brigade members.The program has been developed by Community Connections' Sustaining Volunteerism Initiative in conjunction with CFA South West Area."Traditionally the emergency services has been a male dominated field but it's now becoming apparent with climate change and increasing in events and severity, we need to utilise all members of the community," she said.The program is jointly funded by the Department of Planning and Community Development, the National Emergency Volunteer Support Fund, the Victorian Women's Trust, with in-kind support from the CFA and Community Connections.