Calif. city's female firefighter population shrinking

30 years after San Jose hired its first female firefighter, just 35 of 631 uniformed firefighters, paramedics are women


By Bruce Newman
The San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE, Calif. — If every little boy who ever wanted to be a fireman actually became one, there would be a hook and ladder in every driveway and five-alarm chili in every pot. And there would be very few fires.

Even when the Harris Poll changed the term to "firefighter" as women entered the profession three decades ago, it remained among the most prestigious of all occupations for Americans. But 30 years after San Jose hired its first female firefighter, there are few women on the job -- just 35 of 631 uniformed firefighters and paramedics.

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