Becoming a Firewoman: a Female Firefighter Trainee Story

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The endless early mornings trips to the gym, the barrage of meal plans to stay on a perfect diet and the constant voices in your head telling you “keep pushing, you can do this” are all just a normal day for a female firefighter in training.

To go into the profession of crime fighting, EMS or firefighting is a huge commitment for anyone. Recently, we had the privilege to talk with a women that went through training to become a firefighter. The women we interviewed shared her struggles and joys with us so we could share them with you.

“Training at this level takes a mental and physical discipline like no other,” she explains.  During a training session involving a car fire, she reached a turning point when her trainer yelled: “your body has failed you.” Once she heard those ear numbing words, instead of quitting, she trained harder.  She decided to start embracing the strengths of being a woman rather than convincing herself she has physical limitations.

“I get more emotional or show my emotions rather, more than my crew...I’m okay with being expressive with my emotions, I’m okay with being warm and taking extra time to talk to my patients. I’m okay with being ‘the girl.’”

The emotional strength she has was always hard to embrace. Once she accepted it, she could use it and become a stronger, better firefighter both mentally and physically. She quickly started to surpass her personal bests as well as her trainee classmates: regardless of gender. “It helped me take my job to a whole new level.”

Molly Williams also took being a Firewoman to a new level.  Credited as being the first female firefighter ever recorded, Molly Williams joined her department in 1815 in New York City. She started as the cook, but when an influenza epidemic and a blizzard devastated the city and benched almost every one of her male counterparts, Molly stepped up in the NYFD and helped the people of the city.  Once the other members saw her strength, they accepted her as one of her own.

Both of these woman are not just an inspiration to other firewoman, but show the strength, dedication and fortitude that every brave firefighter shines with.  Inspired?  Have your own training story?  Please share it below!

1 comment

  • Jann

    You go girl. I know how hard it is for a firefighter. Male or female. I am just glad people are realizing you need to be dedicated to the professional career. I am the first female fire chief in the State of Oregon and I retired in 2004 and my son became a Fire Chief in another district in Lane County in 2000 and is still there. Fire Service is a great career for anyone who is decated to helping others

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