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
The role of media literacy in teaching your students about Charlottesville
Use this PBS NewsHour video and discussion questions to teach your students about the events in Charlottesville. Extension activities include the history of Confederate monuments and the debate as to whether or not the statues should remain standing. Continue readingCharlottesvilleConfederacyConfederate monumentscurrent eventsDonald TrumpGovernment & CivicsMedia Literacyneo-NaziracismRobert E. LeeSocial IssuesSocial StudiesU.S. historywhite nationalismwhite supremacy groups
How to discuss the history of white nationalism with your students in the wake of Charlottesville
Today’s Daily News Story provides video, key terms and discussion questions to help teachers talk with their students about the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Continue readingCharlottesvilledomestic terrorismDonald TrumpGovernment & CivicsprotestsracismSocial IssuesSocial StudiesU.S. historywhite nationalismwhite supremacy groups
James Madison’s Montpelier tells the stories of the enslaved people who lived there
Montpelier, the home of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, recently opened a new permanent exhibit at the Virginia estate to inform visitors about Madison’s slaves and the lives they led. Continue readingAmerican Historyconstitutionenslaved peoplefounding fathersGovernment & CivicsJames MadisonMontpelierslaverySocial IssuesSocial Studies
Antibiotics keep animals healthy, but some dangerous superbugs are resistant
As high-density, industrial-scale livestock feeding operations become the norm, farmers have had to take extra steps to keep animals healthy. Illnesses and diseases grow and spread quickly when large numbers of similar animals are kept in close proximity. Continue readingantibioticsdiseasedrugsfarmingfoodFood and Drug AdministrationHealthillnesslivestockScienceSTEMsuperbugs
5 engaging lesson plans celebrating invention and innovation
Are you looking for lesson plans focusing on scientific innovation and invention? Click on the…design thinkingdisabilitiesengineeringinnovationinvasive speciesinventionlesson plansmathematicsrenewable energySciencesocial mediaSTEMTechnology