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Phoenix Fire looking for women to join firefighting force

WEDNESDAY: Q&A for women looking for fire career
Posted at 4:32 AM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 13:53:14-05

Workers are wanted and women are the focal point as local fire departments try to fire up the ladies for a career as a firefighter.

On Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m., the Valley Women's Firefighter Society is hosting an event at the Phoenix Fire Training Academy. That is located at 2425 W. Lower Buckeye Rd., Phoenix, Arizona, 85009. 

This is strictly for getting interested candidates the answers they need to any and all questions. 

Captain Jo Ellen Caldwell is the President of the VWFS and said that, in Phoenix, only about three percent of their firefighters are female. Around the country, she said it is even lower -- around two percent. 

Captain Caldwell said some of the most common questions include: "Can I physically do this job as a woman?"

She was quick to clear that one up. 

"Of course, our answer to that is - yes! You can train to do anything," Captain Caldwell explained. "We can help somebody, the academies that these people go into, they're all there to make people successful. So, yes - through training, women can do this job just fine."

Other basic questions listed on the event Facebook page are:

  • How should I be training?
  • What classes do I need?
  • What is the next step for me? 
  • What does the process look like?
  • How do I test for many cities at once?
  • I have never tested before, where do I start?
  • I have tested many times with no luck, now what?
  • I want to do Ride-Alongs!
  • Why should I volunteer?
  • I don't have a lot of time, how do I navigate the process?

Captain Caldwell said, if you have an interest in healthcare, firefighting, and community service - coming to Wednesday's meeting is the perfect next step. 

"It's something that's kind of ingrained in us, so I think we connect on those things that people have a similar passion with and then you expose them to the opportunity here," Captain Caldwell said. 

Megan Keegan is about to enter the academy to move forward with her firefighting career. She said she credits her advancement with attending a meeting very similar to the one happening Wednesday night. 

"I was nervous... you're like, 'I don't know any of these people,'" Keegan described. "But, I tell people now...you have to go to that first meeting. You need to make that first move, that first step... and after the first meeting, everything is so much easier because you meet people with the same paths, the same ideas, questions. You know - no one question is dumb, because someone sitting next to you has the same question."

No registration is required to attend. 

More information about the Q & A event can be found here.