There are certain stereotypes about the "male" and "female" professions in society. For example, people are used to seeing women in the education sphere, in certain areas of medicine. There is a pattern interrupt for people when women, and even very young ladies, work in the field such as Rescue Service.
Today we are talking to a young female lifesaver who has been working at the Ministry Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic for more than three years. Her name is Elnur Kubanychbekova.
- How have you decided to become a lifesaver?
- I always dreamt to work in a place where I would be useful, where I would save lives and help people. I am very glad that this dream has come true. One day, my acquaintances said that the Rescue Service needed a Medical Assistant. Of course, I could not miss this opportunity. Finally, I liked the work, joined the team, and I decided to stay in this field of work. Now I have received a military rank of Warrant Officer, hold an appointment of Medical Assistant of the Search and Rescue Team of Bishkek of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic. Saving lives and being a person liable for military duty is a special feeling, a special state. I doubt that in other fields I could get it.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations has a big structure, but notably, the Rescue Service meets and struggles with emergency situations every day, and all this is for the sake of the people.
- What is your typical day at work?
- Of course, our work is difficult. But we are preparing for these difficulties, we are constantly taking various classes, as stated, the harder you train, the better you'll fight. We must be prepared for any situation. Our working day begins at 8:00 with accepting a shift from the previous team, then we have scheduled classes.
We are always waiting for a call, that’s why we are the Rescue Service. If you suddenly receive a call, we leave for two minutes.
- And what about the logistics?
- Perhaps we do not have everything that developed countries have, but it’s not so bad. Recently, the UNDP handed over equipment and 22 cars. One of these cars was given to us. It is very important to have a car to get to the place in time and have time to render assistance.
- What is the widespread reason people turn to you with?
- There are a lot of car accidents in the city. It is pity that innocent people are dying because of a drunk driver. I would like to appeal to the drivers and ask them not to endanger their own and other people's lives. There are also a lot of calls from those who live next to the BCHK (Big Chui Channel) in the summertime. The channel takes both children and adults. Playing there, children fall into the channel by inadvertence or commit suicide in this way, but drunk adults usually try to swim in the channel and do not swim out. We are at pains to find them in the water.
- Work in the Ministry of Emergency Situations involves not only physical effort but also psychological. Have you ever had such a situation that you wanted to quit this job?
- Sometimes physical pain and fatigue fade under the stress we are getting at work. Despite this, I never wanted to quit the job. Probably, I do not even admit such a thought.
Once we pulled the child's body out of the pit latrine. It was the most difficult thing to see how a child died, how parents suffered, to feel their helplessness because they could not help to save the baby.
- How is the work in the male team?
- I am not alone in the male team, there is also Mahabat Nazarbekova in the team. She is a Head of a Medical Center, a Senior Warrant Officer, she works longer than me. I will not say that it is difficult to work with men or that I feel like a black sheep. Now we’ve already had one team composition, and when I came, there was another. At that time the colleagues were elder than me and more experienced, they taught me everything, helped, supported. I can say, that they brought me up as a lifesaver. Now I have already become independent.
- What does your family think about your job?
- I told my parents that I had become a lifesaver a month later. They know my character, so they did not discourage them. Since childhood, I have been persistent and stubborn. My relatives accepted my choice, however, they worried very much when I am on a shift.
- Does your job interfere with your personal life?
- No, it does not. Perhaps the guys who meet with the military girls, understand what awaits them in such relationship. I have not yet thought how I will combine my family life, motherhood, and my profession. I hope I’ll meet the person who will understand and accept my choice.
- How do people react when they’ve found out about where you work?
- They are surprised. I have not told anyone where I work and what I do. I live out of town and always go home ununiformed. Once I was free late, it was cold, and I thought that no one would notice me in the dark, and I went home uninformed. And, of course, I met a lot of my acquaintances... Everyone was surprised and asked why I hadn’t told them that I worked in the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
I do not like to advertise something, I agreed to an interview only because I wanted to tell the readers: a woman can do everything if she wants!