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Phoenix Fire Department moves to attract more women to become firefighters

(Facebook/Valley Women's Firefighter Society)

PHOENIX — Calling all ladies: The Phoenix Fire Department is ramping up its efforts to increase the number of women firefighters currently on board.

The Valley Women’s Firefighters Society wants to bring more women into the department and mentor them once they’ve been hired on, Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Shelly Jamison said.

There are only 70 female firefighters in the Phoenix Fire Department — out of 1,600 total.

Jamison said the department wants to increase this number because officials believe firefighters should reflect the community in terms of race, ethnicity and gender.

“When we send a truck out to your home, or to the disaster that’s occuring, we want the people who get off the truck to match those who need our help,” Jamison said. “They feel more comfortable, we find that there’s more empathy if the diversity reflects the community.

“So, whether that’s females, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians — we want the Phoenix Fire Department to look like the people we serve,” she added.

Jamison said women have to meet the same physical requirements as men, but added that the job of a firefighter is rewarding despite its challenges.

“We’re looking for disciplined, motivated, fit individuals,” Jamison said. “Certainly, those individuals are reflected among women just like they are with men.”

“People still think that firefighting is a male-only job and that is not the case,” she added.

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