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Female Firefighters: Fighting for Their Place in Fire & Rescue

Female Firefighters: Fighting for Their Place in Fire & Rescue

Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult. -Charlotte Whitton


Nothing frustrates me more then the firefighter that believes women don’t belong in the fire service. Now, I am not one of those “die hard” feminists. I don’t believe women are better then men at everything. I don’t believe that women should be held in higher regard then men. But I do believe that I am equal to my male counterparts, and it seriously aggravates me when I have to deal with the nay-sayers.

I finished the fire academy, near the top of my class, just like the men. I graduated paramedic school, at the top of my class, just like the men. So why do I constantly have to prove myself?

This is an ongoing battle, and all my sisters can probably give me a shout-out here. Out of all the frustration though, nothing upsets me more than when I have to deal with it at my own department.

We were knee-deep in RIT training, discussing and trying different ways to pull someone out by using their SCBA harness.

There were several of us there: myself, another female in the department, “Sara,” and eight or so of my male co-workers. We just finished watching a demonstration given by an RIT instructor who is in our department.

He then pointed to each of the men, having them copy the exercise he just completed. He then got to me and Sara and said, “Why don’t the two of you do this together?” Sara and I looked at each other, eyebrows raised. She then turned to the instructor and asked, “Why?”

The answer we received floored me. “Because neither one of you can do this on your own.”

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