CFD female firefighters hope more girls consider firefighting as a career

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ByWill Jones via WLS logo
Friday, July 22, 2022
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Firefighting is a tough job that has enormous impact. And the members of Girls Inc. of Chicago got to see what it takes to get the job done

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Firefighting is a tough job thatan has enormous impact and the members of Girls Inc. of Chicago got to see what it takes to get the job done.

"They're saving lives," said Londyn Washington, a Girls Inc. of Chicago member.

Chicago Fire Department female firefighters took them through training at the Quinn Fire Academy.

The girls put on gear, went inside a smoke-filled building, watched the extrication of a car crash victim and learned how to perform CPR.

"I think that would be a very hard job," said Miley Taylor, another Girls Inc. Of Chicago member.

The mission of the organization is to show girls that there up for any challenge by providing them with hands-on experiences.

RELATED: CFD Cmsr. Annette Nance-Holt blazes trail for women firefighters: 'I definitely was not welcome'

"The impact is ten fold, not only are our girls being exposed to a new experience but they are also starting to develop their career goals," said Tuere Atkinson, Girls Inc. Of Chicago senior program facilitator.

There's work to do to increase the number of female firefighters across the country, including here in Chicago, where women only make up a very small percentage of CFD.

Under the leadership of the department's first female commissioner, they're hoping to bring more women into the fire academy.

"Before women didn't think they could do this, but now we have women leading the fire department. My number two is a women too. So now they can look and see women even across the country that are doing this job," said CFD Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt.

Nance-Holt believes recruiting starts early. She's hoping at least one of these girls will consider a career on the fire department.

"I feel a great sense of responsibility because we do need diversity on the Chicago Fire Department," Nance-Holt said.

After the day, Taylor now has it on her radar.

"It's very cool because you don't see a female firefighter every day," she said.