COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Firefighters put their lives on the line daily.
On Saturday, one group of women got to experience what that truly entails through a women’s-only recruitment event held by the Columbus Division of Fire.
About 70 women were put through vigorous drills to see if they have what it takes to become a firefighter
“It’s a very physical job that we do,” said Columbus Division of Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin.
Martin said that normally, the recruitment events are open to anyone, but the department wanted to make Saturday’s event for women only for several reasons, one of those being the physicality of the job.
“Women are built a little more differently than men,” Martin said. “Sometimes for us to teach a class, and a woman to see how everyone is doing something, she may not be successful.”
Secondly, the department wants to be more inclusive. One of the lieutenants, Kylie Salvadore, remembers being the only woman in her training class, adding she didn’t have anyone to look up to.
“It’s motivating for women who are interested in this field to say ‘Yeah, other women can do this job,’” Salvador said.
Over the years, research has also shown women are less likely to ask questions if they’re surrounded by men during their training, Martin said.
“Some people want to know, ‘Hey, I’m a single mom. How do I juggle a career that I’m on 24 hours in a row?’” Martin said.
While another all-women’s training session isn’t scheduled for this year, Martin is hopeful Saturday’s event will encourage other women to take part in fire department training, the next session of which is set for October.
For more information on how to register for that next training session, text JoinCFD to 474747.