When you picture a firefighter or emergency medical services (EMS) provider, what image comes to mind? For most people, the answer would be a man in turnout gear or an EMS uniform. Yet a growing number of women are breaking this stereotype and proving they have what it takes to serve their communities in this remarkable way.
Swelling the Ranks
Although still relatively small in numbers, women are out there, breaking the gender barriers wherever they can. About eight percent of firefighters today are women, and that number is higher (11 percent) when looking at just the volunteer fire service. On the EMS side, 23 percent of medics and 28 percent of EMTs are women.
Women CAN do these jobs and have proven themselves to be as capable as men. But in an occupation that has long been dominated by males, how do more women break through? For many women who are presently in the fire service, they were empowered at some time throughout their lives and encouraged to shoot for the stars. That is what happened to me. Read More…