Fire departments continue to realize that women are an invaluable asset to the fire service. From treating victims of domestic assault, emergency childbirth, and being a calm reassuring presence to sick children as paramedics, to working in confined spaces in motor vehicle accidents and often being the “attic guys” on fires, women continue to reshape the mold on what a fireman looks like.
With an increase in the ratio of medical calls to fire service calls, and advancements in fire science, women have and will continue to find the fire service to be a rewarding career.
However, public perception is that the fire service is only for large-framed men. While firefighting does take peak physical conditioning and strength, we know that it is not the case that only men can reach this level of fitness. But changing perception is no easy task. Simply put, rarely do you find a woman who grew up wanting to be a fireman. Lots of successful firefighters today were encouraged at some point in their career by another firefighter. Many times all it takes is seeing a successful woman firefighter for the reality of this career choice to become an option.
Studies show that successful fire service recruitment boils down to word of mouth. We’re here to be that word of mouth. From a woman, to a woman. “Yes, you can do this job. Yes, it’s hard. And yes, it’s worth it.”