Making history: Milwaukee’s first all-female firefighter crew
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Women are making their mark at the Milwaukee Fire Department. In a field that’s dominated by men, the department is celebrating its first all-female crew.
Female firefighters gear up every day to fight flames in Milwaukee, but now they’ve made history. For the first time ever at the Milwaukee Fire Department, an all-female crew responded to emergency calls and fought fires for 24 hours earlier this month.
“Many times we walk into the firehouse and we're the minority we were actually the majority and it felt good,” Fire Captain Sharon Purifoy, Milwaukee Fire Department said
Only a small percentage of firefighters across the country are women.
“Our job is heavy lifting, moving patients; we don't see the best of things. It's a male-dominated field,” Firefighter Kendria Donaldson, Milwaukee Fire Department said.
However, slowly more women are taking on roles at the Milwaukee Fire Department. Battalion Chief Stephanie Hampton said this milestone is bittersweet.
“Here we are 2018, we should not be surprised, it should not be an anomaly, it should be the norm,” Hampton said. “That's what I want to see.”
Many of the firefighters say this historic moment is just the beginning.
“All the movies you see like the brawn men, but we're changing that slowly,” Firefighter Jessica Olson said.
These strong women hope their stories can ignite a fire in young girls to pursue their dreams.
“Follow your heart,” Donaldson said. “If firefighting is what you want to do, regardless if it's Milwaukee or any other city or state. Do it!”