Tulsa Fire Department hosts camp to inspire young women

A camp put on by the women of the Tulsa Fire Department on Sept. 30 will give women 15 and older a chance to find out what emergency responders really do.
The camp is aimed at teaching girls about the gear, technique and requirements of the job. This is the fourth annual girls’ camp the department has hosted.
The camp is an excellent opportunity for young women to learn about the importance and realities of working as an emergency responder.
News on 2 reports that the first female firefighter in Tulsa joined the force in 1992 and that today, only 17 out of 700 members are women.
In a city with nearly 200,000 women, only 17 female firefighters is underwhelming.
Miriam Bryant, one of the firefighters helping to put on the camp, wants to make this profession more common for women.
According to the National Fire Protection Association there was a total of 1,160,450 career and volunteer firefighters in the United States in 2015, but only 85,100 of those firefighters were women.
Only 12,850 out of 345,600 career firefighters were women and there were 72,250 women out of 814,850 volunteer firefighters.
While firefighting and other careers in emergency response have traditionally been considered masculine roles, Tulsa Fire Department’s camp for girls has the potential to have a great influence over the attendees. Most little girls don’t say they want to be a firefighter when they grow up, but this camp might very well change girls’ perception of the career by proving to them that even a woman is strong enough to do the job.
District Fire Chief Greta Hurt told News on 6 that before she joined the force, she didn’t even know that the Tulsa Fire Department would hire women.
Hurt is now the first female fire chief in Tulsa.
For Hurt, this camp is all about making girls aware of the opportunities they have as a firefighter or emergency responder.
The camp will also be attended by representatives of the Tulsa Police Department, EMSA and the National Guard to help promote all careers in emergency services.
Tulsa Channel 8 interviewed Debbie Bailey, the first female firefighter in Tulsa, as well as Heather Perkey, the woman leading the organization of this year’s camp.
Bailey and Perkey shared that the camp was previously a co-ed program, but the girls camp developed out of a need to make girls more comfortable in their one-day role as a firefighter.
Bailey, who is now retired, says she wishes she could have had the type of training offered through the camp when she was first starting out.
Although very few firefighters are women, emergency responders will always be in high demand.
The women of the Tulsa Fire Department plan to continue hosting this camp every year.

Post Author: Carlie Wiseley