News / USA

Teen Girls Learn Firefighting

Teen Girls Learn Firefightingi
X
July 30, 2013 10:59 PM
Most summer camps for teens revolve around sports, or music and arts, or just for having fun. But some girls in the Washington suburb of Arlington County, Virginia, went to camp to get a taste of what it's like to be a firefighter. VOA’s June Soh has more on a firefighting camp for girls only.
June Soh
Most summer camps for teens revolve around sports, or music and arts, or just for having fun. But some girls in the Washington suburb of Arlington County, Virginia, went to camp to get a taste of what it's like to be a firefighter.

This is not a typical summer camp. But Michelle Pawlaw is glad she signed up for it.

“Getting to experience the fires hands-on is really cool and something that most people don’t get to do," she said.

Michelle and eight other teenage girls are participating in the three-day camp offered by the Arlington County Fire Department located just outside of Washington.

Firefighter Clare Burley is in charge of the program.

“The purpose is to try to get young women interested in considering the fire service as a career," she said.

The free of charge, overnight camp is designed to let the girls experience what firefighters do in the line of duty to protect the community.  That includes some rigorous activities such as moving a fire victim.

“I didn’t think I could pull that 170-pound body [77 kg] with a friend, but I was actually able to do it," she said.

They take classes and learn how to climb the ladder on a fire truck, operate emergency tools and rescue an injured person. They also do their share of cleaning the firehouse and the equipment.

“Every week without fail on a Saturday, the job is to wash all the rigs and wash the floors. And we wanted the girls to see this is what we do. This is a typical day in a firehouse," she said.

Firefighting is still a male-dominated service, but Burley says with 22 women on its force of 320 the Arlington Fire Department is above the national average of 4.5 percent.  She joined the department seven years ago.

“We do everything that the guys do to the same standard. We are tested to the same standard. We are expected to operate at the same standard," she said.

“We need to wash the lettuce and put it in a green big bowl," said Lieutenant Robert Beer.

The girls help the crew on duty prepare for dinner. It is also part of the program.

“Because the kitchen is a very important part of a firefighter's life.  We work 24 hours together, seven days a week.  We cook here, we sleep here.  We usually have breakfast and dinner together. That's how we build camaraderie," said Beer.

Most of the girls say they had never thought about becoming a firefighter, but the camp was a great learning experience.

“I think it is definitely not a job that only men can do. Women can do it just as well as men can," said Michelle Pawlaw.

“I think I can help other people if they need help and know what to do in case I am at a fire myself," said Kayla Ehrlich.

“I think I could be a volunteer firefighter from this experience," said Monica Bartorsh.

And, the girls say, by spending three days together, they also made new friends and had a lot of fun.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid