Female Firefighters in the Field
Firefighters have stamina and strength. They rely on their training and on teamwork to enter a burning building and rescue people and pets. For a long time, the firefighting field has been dominated by men. The good news is that this is starting to change as fire departments work to become more inclusive and recruit more women.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the United States has 1,160.450 total firefighters. Female firefighters make up 7.5 percent of the fire service. That means there are 87,033 female firefighters in the field. More women are encouraged to join their local fire departments.
The CPAT and Physical Fitness
The physical demands of firefighting apply to both men and women. Today’s standards for the Candidate Physical Ability Tests (CPAT) measures aerobic endurance and stamina, as well as the ability to use strength and experience in solving problems in the moment.
Miami-Dade County’s fire department addressed the question of whether it was “hard” for women to become firefighters. Longtime stereotypes may be discouraging women from joining the fire service.
To change this, the fire department explains their policy that women can apply to become firefighters but must pass the same tests as the men. They offer orientation classes so that people are able to see what is expected of firefighters and which fitness areas they may need to work on before they attempt the CPAT.
Female Firefighter in Florida
Female firefighters in the field will be doing the same jobs as the men on their team. For firefighters to be successful, they need to be able to work together and help each other out. Women are making strides in this field, and the fire service hopes to recruit more female firefighters.
In fact, Florida has had female firefighters in the field since the 1970s. Firefighters are accepted on more than their athletic prowess. The ability to solve problems, make the right decisions under pressure, and work in teams is also valuable.
Becoming a firefighter begins with meeting the requirements for the career. Education, training, and physical fitness are the way to enter this field. HCI offers fire training, as well as an associate degree in Fire Science. Contact us to learn more about our firefighting training programs.