TFD Uses Camp To Encourage Girls To Pursue Firefighting
TULSA, Oklahoma - It’s a career field dominated by men, and the Tulsa Fire Department is taking steps to encourage young women to consider firefighting as a career path.
The department hosted its second annual Girls Only Fire Camp, where teens get to take an inside look at the daily job of a firefighter.
The field of fire service is no longer just a man’s world. It's been that way for years, but breaking stereotypes is hard to do.
Just ask district fire chief Greta Hurt.
“A friend of mine told me about the fire department, and at the time, I didn't even know they hired women, and I even said, ‘they don't hire women!’" Hurt said.
But they did, and now Hurt is the first female fire chief in Tulsa history.
“You know somebody has to be first to get it going and get it started,” she said. “We have a lot of women on the job and a lot of women that can be successful. And again, I think someone just has to get it going."
That's why Tulsa fire hosts the girls only camp.
Female firefighters teach the girls about the gear, techniques and requirements.
And every year, more and more girls are interested, like 17-year-old Lila, who's taking the camp for a second year in a row.
“I like a challenge,” she said. “I like doing it. It's just fun."
Lila hopes to become a firefighter one day thanks to her experience.
She said when she did the training last year, she knew this was the job for her, thanks to the strong examples of the women who already paved the way.
“Women can do it, like men aren't always stronger than women,” she said.
Hurt reminded that “it takes work; it takes discipline."
And it takes a lot of training.
The environment is full of encouragement, letting these girls know they can do it.
“If you set your mind to something and this is something that you want to do, it's available for you,” Hurt said.