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. Most women firefighters would give you the same answer. Face it: little girls in the 1950's and 1970's weren't brought up with many career options. And even if we were drawn by the excitement of those bright red fire trucks we weren't given an idea that we could expect to become firefighters ourselves when we grew up.
BUT THE FACT IS THAT THERE ARE NOW THOUSANDS OF WOMEN IN THE U.S. WHO MAKE THEIR LIVINGS AS PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS. IN THE LAST TWENTY YEARS, FIREFIGHTING HAS BECOME A NEW AND EXCITING CAREER OPTION FOR MANY WOMEN. IN BOSTON, THERE ARE NOW 18 WOMEN FIREFIGHTERS AND THE CITY IS AGGRESSIVELY RECRUITING FOR MORE.
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 JOB IS ATTRACTIVE FOR MANY REASONS, FROM GOOD PAY AND BENEFITS, PROMOTION INCENTIVES TO THE OPPORTUNITY FOR A RICH AND REWARDING CAREER. IT IS USUALLY THE THRILL OF FIREFIGHTING THAT WOMEN AS WELL AS MEN LOVE MOST ABOUT THE JOB.
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. 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 out break 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.
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PERSONAL QUALITIES:11:30 AM 09/16/2008 Many women fail to hold, gain respect, or advance to better positions due to the absence of personal qualities.
People gain their first impressions: and on the basis of it, they frequently judge the individual before he/she has an opportunity to speak. A woman should endeavor to select clothes that are becoming and that, at the same time, will be serviceable, sensible and appropriate for the work place. One should look well, and yet avoid extremes.
(By Captain Pat. Dyas - Women in the Fire Service)