News Headlines and Ongoing Projects of Interest to Fire Service Women
Lieutenant Jennifer Román of the Madison Fire Department receives the ATHENA Award
Madison, WI March 2013 – Lieutenant Jennifer Román was honored with the ATHENA Award at a ceremony in Madison on March 12th. The ATHENA Award honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and forge paths of leadership for other women to follow. Read more...
The History of the FDNY Women Firefighters
Prior to 1977 there was a quota for women firefighters in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)—that quota was zero. It did not matter if you had won an Olympic gold medal, had been named the “strongest woman in the world” or held the world-record in the marathon—if you had been born female, you could not even apply to take a test to become a New York City firefighter. Read more: http://www.laborarts.org/exhibits/womenfirefighters/
NIOSH Fire Fighter Cancer Study Update
Latest NIOSH Fire Fighter Cancer Study Updates found here: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/. We hope to complete the review and report our first results sometime in the spring of 2013. Once completed, all NIOSH research undergoes a rigorous review process prior to publication. We anticipate that our study will provide new insights into fire fighter risks.
Female firefighters blazed a trail that few followed
An alarm comes in at Engine 102 and the firefighters, just finishing lunch, quickly scatter.
Sabrina Daniels grabs her bunker gear — a jacket, pants, boots and air mask — dressing as she leaps onto the engine with her all-male team. When she started as a firefighter in 1986, Daniels also had to carry a 40-pound hand pump, a pipe pole and an ax. But seniority has its benefits on the rig.
"That's for the low man on the team," said Daniels, 53, a no-nonsense woman who is as comfortable pulling a 50-foot hose as preparing sandwiches for the crew in the firehouse kitchen. "When I had to carry all that at one time, it was a job."
Read the full story at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-first-female-firefighter-class20110625,0,477222.story
How Emergency Management Is Changing (For the Better)
Like all professions, emergency management has evolved throughout the years to become what it is today — a defined field of work that’s paving a career path for future employees. The modern concept of emergency management has grown from the civil defense days — when in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created a federal office to protect civilians and respond to community needs in wartime. As state and local governments saw the need for programs focusing on emergency management, veterans and retired first responders were the go-to candidates to fill these positions.
To read the full story visit - http://www.emergencymgmt.com/training/How-Emergency-Management-Is-Changing.html
More female firefighters in Manlius
MANLIUS, NY (WSYR-TV) - While volunteer fire departments across the country struggle to build their membership, Manlius has had a spike in interest from females, who make up 17% of the volunteer firefighters at the Manlius fire hall.
To read the full story visit - http://www.9wsyr.com/news/local/story/More-female-firefighters-in-Manlius/ElK1AFmx0E68_V7NCHgC-A.cspx
Women firefighters take the heat
While more are joining the volunteer ranks these days, women are still a small minority in county firehouses By ANDREA GILLHOOLLEY
Women in the Fire Service - Interview - June 2011
IAFC Executive Deputy Director Mary Beth Michos discusses the past and future of women in the fire service. Hosted by Chief Rob Wylie. Filmed at the 2011 IAFC Fire-Rescue Med conference in Las Vegas.
iWomen Oral History Project
Women in the Fire Service has initiated an oral history project that will collect and preserve the stories of fire service women. We need your help identifying women who should be interviewed, conducting the interviews, and funding the project.
LAFD firefighter awarded $6.2 million
A jury has awarded $6.2 million in compensatory damages to a Los Angeles firefighter who complained she had been harassed on the job because she is female, African-American, and a lesbian.
Brenda Lee, a 12-year veteran of the LAFD, filed her suit in 2005. It cited behaviors from supervisors and co-workers such as derogatory comments, her locker being ransacked, being singled out to do exhausting drills no other firefighters were required to do, finding her mouthwash had been mixed with urine, and being retaliated against when she complained of the treatment.
Jackson firefighters win harassment case
Four Jackson, Mississippi, firefighters prevailed in their sexual harassment lawsuit against the Jackson Fire Department on May 30. A federal jury awarded them more than $750,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. The suit was filed by the International Association of Fire Fighters more than four years ago.
Appeals Court: Inadequate Facilities and Gear = Sex Discrimination
On March 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis found in favor of two women firefighters who have been tangling with the Kansas City Fire Department over discrimination, harassment, inadequate station facilities, and improperly fitting protective gear – and then over retaliation for filing the complaints – for more than ten years. The resulting decision is particularly important because it marks the first time a federal appeals court has stated that failure to provide adequate facilities and protective gear for women firefighters constitutes sex discrimination.
Changes & Promotions
New chief for St. John
Winifred Powell was named fire chief of the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands on May 16, 2007. She is the first woman to become chief in the Virgin Islands Fire Service.
New chiefs in Illinois, Washington
The Canton (Illinois) Fire Department and Puyallup (Washington) Fire and Rescue, have new chiefs as of late June / early July. Assistant Chief Bonnie Cremer will begin her duties as Canton's chief on July 16, and Deputy Chief Ruth Obadal took over as chief of Puyallup on June 30.
Berkman Retires from FDNY
Captain Brenda Berkman of the New York City Fire Department retired on September 14, 2006, after 24 years on the job. Berkman, who undoubtedly has more name recognition than any other female firefighter, is probably best known for filing the lawsuit that brought the first women onto the iconic New York City Fire Department in 1982.