Unfortunately, there aren’t too many female firefighters to look up to. However, thanks to the Eugene Fire & EMS Department, young women now have the chance to fulfill their dreams of putting out fires and helping their community. This week 19 teenage girls got the chance to put on some heavy duty fire gear and help their communities.
The Eugene Register-Guard featured a group of young women that took part in a week long firefighting summer camp. The group was taught by the Eugene Fire & EMS Department headquarters on West Second Avenue.
“Amazing,” said Mickina Biagi, 15, a North Eugene High School student, after being tabbed as the lead firefighter on a hose crew putting out a fire that engulfed an old, rusted Volkswagen Rabbit. “IT was really fun. And hot!”
According to Mark Baker at the Register-Guard, of the 250 or so firefighters employed today by Eugene Fire &EMS and Springfield Fire & Life Saftety-two agencies that are in the process of merging – only 11 are women. That is higher than the national average of only 3.7 percent.
Local firefighter Carolyn McCann had this to say to KMTR News, “They have just their own place to be confident and feel confident, and doing things they might not ordinarily do. We’ve got girls doing pull ups that they’ve never even tried before and now they’re wanting to do them, which is amazing and just doing non-traditional things is just always a good thing.”
News of this one-of-a-kind camp also caught the attention of msnbc.com. The website reported reactions from counselors working at the confidence and leadership camp. “The girls really faced their fears in the camp by trying new things and stepping out of their comfort zones. On the first day, most of them remained quiet and reserved – but that all changed halfway through the program.”
The program is the only one held this summer. Based on the popularity of the camp, there will be another session added net year as long as funding is available.
To see these campers in action click here.