Fire academy teaches girls in male-dominated field - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Fire academy teaches girls in male-dominated field

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CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. (KWWL) - Women on fire crews are widely outnumbered by men both across the country and in Iowa's biggest cities. 

Cedar Rapids has five female firefighters on it's 144 person crew which is in line with the national average at 3.4%. 

There are three women on both the Iowa City and Dubuque fire crews while Waterloo has 1 on their 144 person team. 

Cedar Rapids Firefighter Amy Kunkle says they wanted to put on the Young Women's Fire Academy to give women the chance to learn early on, something she did not have when she dove into the field.

 "So that they would know what firefighting is about, and that they could actually do something like this," says Kunkle. 

Fourteen young women are participating in the academy this week, their ages range from 15-19. 

"It's kind of cool just being able to have this, and have women who are close to my age and not so close to my age to kind of look up to and go to for questions and advice, says Carissa Lee. 

Lee is one of multiple of the girls who are considering firefighting as a career. 
"I'm very excited about it and I hope like if other girls want to do it they can see other girls that are in the field and look up to them," says Molly Duckett. 

This is the first time the department has held the Young Women's Fire Academy. 

Meanwhile, in St. Louis County in Missouri, KSDK reported on a similar program also going on this week. KSDK reports the Girls Scouts of Eastern Missouri is introducing girls to first responder careers and non-traditional jobs for the first time there as part of a week-long immersion called Camp Fury.

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