Girls Inc. partnered with the Chicago Fire Department to empower girls to become anything they want, including firefighters

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Fire Department is showing young girls what a career as a first responder could feel like.

When girls think about what they want to be when they grow up, being a firefighter is probably not the first thing that comes to mind, but a program called Girls Inc. is trying to change that.

According to a recent study nationwide, only four percent of firefighters are female and in Chicago that number drops to two or three percent.

Dozens of girls ages six to 14 learned they can be anything they want to be, including a first responder Friday.

"I want to be a firefighter, a teacher, a lawyer and a princess," said Carolyn.

Testing their skills and their strength with the support of the Chicago Fire Department, girls like Carolyn now know what they are capable of.

"When I was a little girl I didn't know any women firefighters and I definitely didn't know any female firefighters of color, so I think it's good that they can see role models or how wave been successful in the fire service as women coming in to a male dominated field. But we're trying to teach them they can do it," said Chicago Fire Department First Deputy Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt.

Girls Inc. mission is to expose girls to areas where women are underrepresented.

"It was thrilling to have the fire department support us in exposing girls to this career because the leadership here, they agree and believe it is a great opportunity for woman," said CEO of Girls Inc. of Chicago Arshele Stevens, "and it's important that they see this so that they're inspired and they think it's for them as well."

Friday the girls training went beyond stop, drop and roll.

"I learned how to secure a bleeding wound and I learned when you first enter a house you need to stay to the ground and there's positions that everyone has to take on the team," said Dakira.

The biggest lesson is that girls can do anything they want and believe.
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