Student VoicesBack to student voices archive August 6, 2013
Firefighting Summer Camp Seeks Female Recruits
by Elizabeth Jones
Fewer than four out of every 100 firefighters are women, according to national statistics, but Arlington County is making a strong effort to turn the numbers around by running weekend camps showing girls that firefighting can be a rewarding career.
Many women don’t think they have the strength and stamina for the labor intensive job, but women like Captain Tiffanye Wesley and Andrea Kaiser-Goodine disagree.
“19 years ago when my parents didn’t even think it was possible, when my parents asked, ‘Why would you want to do such a dangerous job,’” said Captain Wesley. “And when my friends, they said the same, ‘You are much too small. You don’t have enough weight to do the job,’” Wesley continued. “I said in my mind, I said anything that I want to set my mind to, I’m going to do.”
And she has. Climbing the ranks where there are even fewer women, Wesley is now ranked Captain II at Arlington County Station 4 Fire Department.
Neither woman knew growing up they wanted to pursue firefighting careers. That’s why they agreed to help recruit and instruct young women.
“It’s been the best choice of my life… I do. I love it,” said Kaiser-Goodine who started out reporting for a TV news station where she was eventually introduced to the idea of a firefighting career.
Trainee Tara wrote to NewsHour Extra about her experience:
As soon as I heard about this on the radio, I knew this camp was for me. To me, this sounded like a fun way to experience what firefighters do. Personally, I have always been interested in firefighter/police/detective work. So this might be my future career. My favorite parts were getting to hang out and spend time with the firefighters, watching the live fire, and of course, riding in the fire truck.
It is really intimidating that only four percent of firefighters are girls. What people don’t realize is that if a girl sets her mind to something and she believes in herself, then she can accomplish anything! Judith Livers Brewer, the first female firefighter, is one of my role models–she did something no other woman had ever done.
I learned that after firefighters put out a fire, they feel really good about themselves because they know they’ve helped someone. I also learned that it’s not an easy job and that the female firefighters set their minds to do their jobs well.
Female firefighters have many challenges, such as scheduling family time and commitments around their work schedules. They also have to overcome the stereotypes of being women in a very physical and dangerous job. Even though they know it’s a dangerous job, they still love it!
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Tooltip of related content
Tooltip of RSS content 3
To Vote or Not to Vote – Lesson Plan
Why is voting an important responsibility for citizens? Less than 60 percent of eligible voters voted in the 2012 general election. Yet, for other Americans, voting is a very meaningful, almost sacred duty. In this lesson, students will view three short films that explore the importance of voting. Continue readingcitizenshipCivicscivil rightscivil rights act of 1965constitutionElection 2016GovernmentGovernment & CivicsimmigrationraceSocial StudiesSupreme CourtU.S. governmentVotevotingvoting historyvoting rights
Decoding Media Bias – Lesson Plan
Students will view the We The Voters film “MediOcracy,” and then examine current news stories and how they’re covered by the three main cable news outlets. They will conclude by examining news stories for bias/point of view. Continue readingbiascable networksCivicsElection 2016GovernmentGovernment & Civicsmediamedia biasMedia Literacynewsnews medianews organizationsSocial Studies
Polling Pitfalls – Lesson Plan
What do people need to consider when evaluating public opinion polls? After viewing The Poll Dance, students will examine important aspects of valid polling and evaluate three polls. Continue readingCivicsdemocracyElection 2016GovernmentpollingPollspollsterpublic opinionSocial StudiesU.S. government
Will Americans living in poor rural areas vote?
Some poorer residents of rural America say their voices are not being heard as part of the national political dialogue and the presidential election. Continue readingEconomicseconomyElection 2016low-incomeNorth Carolinapovertyrural AmericaSocial StudiesvoterWilkesboro
Student Reporting Labs STEM Lesson Plan: How well are our wells?
In the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab video, “Water Scarcity for New Mexico Natives,” Las Cruces High School students describe climate changes and human activities which impact quality and availability of groundwater. In the lesson plan, students gather information from a low-cost physical model, choose a part of the groundwater and well problem, propose a solution and defend their proposal. Continue readingEPAgroundwaterScienceSRLSTEMstudent reporting labsUnited State Geological SurveyUSGSwaterwells