Te Awamutu Courier

New roles for fire engineer, Debbie

Debbie Scott is serving with profession­al bodies

- Kate Durie

Debbie Scott, a local consulting fire engineer, has just been appointed to the Chartered Profession­al Engineerin­g (CPEng) Board for a three-year term. This follows being appointed as a “fellow’ to the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (internatio­nal) last year and also being appointed a “governor” last year to the Society of Fire Protection Engineers Foundation.

Consulting fire design engineers primarily work on building fire designs to ensure compliance with the NZ Building Code is achieved.

They work with architects, building owners, developers, councils and project managers on all types of buildings throughout New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, from as small as twounit townhouses to as large as the Sylvia Park Mall in Auckland.

CPEng is a new board that aims to strengthen the Chartered Profession­al Engineerin­g system in New Zealand. The board will govern the functions of the Registrati­on Authority, as per the Chartered Profession­al Engineers of New Zealand Act 2002.

Being an internatio­nal organisati­on all of their work at the moment is done via video conference.

“Hopefully, once we are through these Covid days I’ll have the opportunit­y to meet together with the other governors at the annual meeting in the United States. I also hope to receive my fellowship award at the same time which I missed out on in 2020 thanks to Covid,” says Debbie.

In 2021, Debbie was appointed as a governor of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).

The SFPE Foundation had the purpose of expanding the science of fire protection engineerin­g for use in protecting against unwanted fire events. She is also on the technical committee and finance committee for the foundation.

Debbie studied at the University of Canterbury, where she completed her bachelor of engineerin­g with honours then a masters of fire engineerin­g with distinctio­n.

She moved to Te Awamutu in 2004 when OnFire Consulting was set up from her lounge. Now they have an office in town and one in Auckland employing 10 fire engineers.

Debbie moved from Te Awamutu two years ago and now lives in Tamahere to be closer to her twins’ (Bobby and Charlotte, aged 13) school, but still works in Te Awamutu each day.

Fire engineers are fairly “rare”, especially in Te Awamutu. She likes to think that they “offer a big city job but in a small rural town” as Te Awamutu offers the best of both worlds.

Debbie has volunteere­d for 20 years of her working life, whether it is for her profession or other interests such as her twins’ school (she was on the Te Awamutu Primary School board for around five years).

On top of all of this, Debbie manages to squeeze in time to practise her passion for dance.

“I don’t really find the spare time; I have to make it. I love my ballet and the jazz classes that I do at the Te Awamutu School of Dance. It’s the only ‘me time’ that I get,” says Debbie.

Her daughter also dances at the Te Awamutu School of Dance, it was because of her doing it that Debbie got into it.

“I never danced as a child so it’s a huge learning curve and challenge for me. I take the dance exams just like the younger kids do and have done so for the last four years.”

Debbie’s goals for the future are to get en pointe in ballet and to eventually cut down her working hours. She says that it’s “something I’ve been saying for many years but seem to fail every time I try”.

 ?? Photo / Supplied ?? Fire engineer Debbie Scott.
Photo / Supplied Fire engineer Debbie Scott.

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