WHEN YOU WERE A LITTLE GIRL, DID YOU WANT TO BE A FIREFIGHTER??
A lot of little girls do, these days. But if you answered “NO”, it’s no surprise. There are now thousands of women in the U.S. who make their living as professional firefighters. In the last twenty years, firefighting has become a viable career choice. Boston has 17 women firefighters (1 officer / Chief) and the City is focused on recruiting more women. The Boston Society of Vulcans provided a solution to the fact that Boston is below the national average of 1%. Utilizing a Cadet Program similar to the Boston Police would be our proposed way to provide opportunities to more women on the Boston Fire Department.
Women choose careers in firefighting for a number of reasons. For many, it’s because they want a job that makes a difference. Firefighting can be an exciting and highly rewarding career, firefighting isn’t just mindless brute strength. It involves the special challenge of putting one’s skills to the test in an emergency, of calling on all of one’s resources of mind and body to help resolve a crisis.
The fire service isn’t just about fighting fires. Other opportunities are available such as: becoming a fire inspector, safety educator, emergency dispatcher, or arson investigator. Women can and do serve in many of these roles enjoying their work and performing well. After all, women have been in the fire service for over a hundred years.
The first female firefighter on record was an African American woman named Molly Williams. She was held under slavery by a member of Oceanus Engine company #11 in New York City. Known for her calico dress and checkered apron, she was said to be “as good fire laddie as many of the boys.” Molly is most remembered for her courage and strength during the blizzard of 1818. Male firefighters were scarce due to an outbreak of influenza, a major fire broke out during the storm, Molly took a place with the men on the dragropes and pulled the pumper to the fire through the deep snow to the fire.
For more information visit the following sites:
Black Women in the Fire Service:
Women in the Fire Service: