Davis-Buckle is highest-ranked female firefighter
When Julian Davis-Buckle attempted to join the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) in 1995, the panel that interviewed her did not initially consider her as a candidate to progress to the training stage of the brigade's recruitment exercise.
The Manchester native recalled leaving the interview room filled with disappointment. However, that was short-lived as Frederick Whyte, then leader on the interview panel, prevailed on his colleagues to give her a chance.
"I think they were looking at my petiteness," said Davis-Buckle.
"I was super slim so they were trying to protect me, they were saying 'no, she can't manage this; she's not going to be able to manage this' and I think that was a decision they made at the time," she added.
Davis-Buckle was among 120 recruits who began training in September 1995 and graduated as a firefighter in December that year. Fast-forward 27 years, she has moved through the ranks of the organisation and is now assistant commissioner, making her the highest-ranked female in the Jamaica Fire Brigade.
"It is a career that I wouldn't do anything else, and I intend to continue until I reach where I want to reach, and the top is where I'm intending to go," she said.
Davis-Buckle shares that, over the years, she has continued to invest in her academic achievements and growth and has evolved to meet the needs of the 152-year-old organisation. She is currently pursuing a bachelor of laws with the University of London. She holds an associate degree in human resource management, a bachelor's degree in business administration, postgraduate diploma in public sector senior management and a public administration master's in disaster and emergency management.
"Wherever the study is, I am there. I look in the organisation and see where I need to build myself to fit into the organisation, so you have to make sure you fit into it, and I am cognisant that as a female in a male-dominated job, I have to step my game up and I did just that, and I am doing just that," she said.
The mother of two says her career has been fulfilling and encourages young women who are interested in serving their country to enrol in the JFB.
"If you want a career that is fulfilling, if you want a career that has scope for mobility because, as I told you, I started as a firefighter, all you do is come, hold your own, do what you have to do, educate yourself, develop yourself, personal development is very important," she emphasises.
Davis-Buckle was among a group of 34 persons who have given outstanding service to the JFB, who were recently presented with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee medals. She said it was an honour and a privilege to be recognised.
"It gives me great pleasure just to know that my service and my commitment is recognised. It feels good," the Knox College past student said.