Report: Fewer than 2 percent of RI firefighters are female

According to the NFPA, only 7 percent of firefighters are women in the United States


By FireRescue1 Staff

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Although there are fewer female firefighters across the county, less than 2 percent of Rhode Island’s firefighters are female. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, only 7 percent of firefighters are women in the United States. In a recent survey, WPRI found that 1.74 percent of fire personnel across 20 departments in Rhode Island are female. 

Firefighters Katie Moore and Sharon Corriveau said despite recent progress, there is still room for change. 

“I think a lot of it is just telling women that they can do it,” Corriveau said. “A lot of women kind of feel pigeon-holed into certain types of careers. It doesn’t seem natural to think of a woman going, ‘I can be a firefighter, I can be a cop, I can do construction, I can do these big, strong things.'”

The two also said the biggest challenge they face is not from their peers, station or equipment, but from the public. 

“The worst moments are when you are in a client’s home and they need your help and you want to help,” Corriveau said. “They called 911 and you show up. Usually it’s lifting patients – ‘I don’t want you carrying me.'"

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