Watch: Female firefighters share challenges, value of inclusive culture
The video features women who attended WTREX, a training exchange that helps advance participants’ qualifications for wildland fire operations
By FireRescue1 Staff
DAVIS, Calif. — A popular outdoor retail chain released a video highlighting women in the fire service.
The video showcases female firefighters who attended Women in Fire Prescribed Fire Training Exchange, a program in Northern California that helps advance participants’ qualifications for wildland fire operations, and they shared their stories of what it’s like to be in the service.
“No one ever said … do you want to be a firefighter when you grow up?” firefighter Lacey England says in the video. “I just never considered it an option.”
Many of the women interviewed in the video said they are the only women on their crew.
“I think on a daily basis people think I’m the secretary for our company,” firefighter Stacey Marion said.
England adds that she feels an extra pressure to perform well because she is a female.
“Sometimes there’s a feeling that I have to be twice as good to be considered as competent as my male co-workers,” she says. “I don’t want to make a mistake in front of the men because I don’t want that to reflect on all women, which can get in the way of learning and trying new things.”
According to England, the WTREX provides a “safe learning environment.”
“It’s really great to get that different leadership style, a different learning style from someone you can relate to a little bit more,” she says. “We’re having those conversations about ‘how do we create a more inclusive culture so we can create more impactful changes in the future?’”
Watch the video below.