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Bill drops use of 'fireman' in Md. county code

The bill, which was recently passed by county council, replaced all references of "fireman" to "firefighter" in the code

By FireRescue1 Staff

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. — A bill recently passed by Howard County swapped out "fireman" for "firefighter" in the county’s code.

Baltimore Sun reported that Howard County’s Volunteer Firefighter Association also changed their named from "fireman," and former association president Julie Casey said the move is a sign that the county is "stepping up with the times and recognizing women as equal partners."

"Even though it’s just a word it does mean a lot because it means that I am included," Assistant Chief Christine Uhlhorn said. "I’ve been called a fireman so many times and I always correct them. Anybody can be a firefighter."

Chief Uhlhorn said the county has seen the most women graduate from the academy this year, with eight of the 35 graduates being female. The department currently has 52 female firefighters out of 445 staff members.

Chief Uhlhorn added that the changing of the word will inspire girls to be a firefighter one day.

"If you empower children and let them know that they can do anything they want to do, and plant that seed early, it opens up opportunities," she said. "When that term is gone, especially for school-aged children, when they don’t hear 'fireman' anymore, I think that girls will still start to think that this is a career option for them, because there’s no gender applied to it."

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