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Photo of Breastfeeding Firefighter Stirs Emotion

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firefighter breastfeeding

 A  firefighter volunteer is being widely praised on Facebook after a photo of her breastfeeding her infant while in uniform has gone viral.

“This is brilliant!” noted one of the more than 1,500 commenters on the image, posted Sunday by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) of Australia, in the state of Victoria. “I’ve been thinking of joining the CFA but wasn’t sure if it would affect breastfeeding! Well now I know. Thank you CFA!” The Facebook post has been liked by more than 38,000 people and shared more than 4,100 times.

The woman in the photo, Angela Joy, is the mother of four children under the age of 10. Her husband, also a member of the same firefighting station, snapped the picture of her nursing their infant at a community event. As noted by the CFA on the post: “One of the many faces of CFA in 2016. Just to clarify, this photo of Angela, a proud mum and CFA volunteer was taken at a community event. No fires nearby and a safe environment for her child.”

One of the many faces of CFA in 2016.CFA (Country Fire Authority)

Posted by CFA (Country Fire Authority) on Sunday, January 24, 2016

Joy spoke to the ABC about the photo  on Facebook. “A couple of days ago there was a request from the CFA for pictures that represented Australia. While this wasn’t the iconic koala or gum tree firefighter image, I sent it in. To me it represented how grateful I am to be a firefighter in the CFA in a more mature Australia working for such a diverse organization.”

“That makes any negativity associated with this worth it, as this mum will go out and save someone’s house one day.  Though the overwhelming majority of comments were positive,  there were comments that said…  “I find this photo offensive… I abhor a woman’s breast in public… please cover up,” and “I don’t think I would be too happy if my wife did this.”

“Can’t like this enough,” “double thumbs up,” “beautiful,” “absolutely brilliant” and this one, from fellow volunteer Brent Hunter: “As a firefighting volunteer and a human, this makes my heart happy. Women truly are the real superheroes.” His comment alone had more than 150 likes.

Another fellow firefighter, John Rhodes, posted his own well-rounded praise: “I am proud to call Angela my friend and colleague. I took her out on her first fire call, I was driving and Angela was on the back of the truck fighting the grass fire, she asked me afterwards, ‘Did I do alright?’ I just smiled. Not only a good mum, but a great fire fighter.”

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