WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports
Eau Claire (WQOW) - This week, CVTC is hosting a camp in Eau Claire for young women aspiring to be firefighters. Today was the first day.
"I think a woman can do any job a man can do,” says camper Tianna Braker.
Girls on Fire is a five-day camp.
"On average, there are 4% women in the Fire and EMS fields," says Shaylee Miracle, a CVTC Fire and Medic student.
It allows young women to explore what it would be like to work as a firefighter or first responder.
"I think I’ve wanted to be a firefighter since I was like five," says Braker.
"I think there aren’t as many woman firefighters because it’s stereotypical that it’s a man’s job and it requires a lot of strength," says Heather Harsh, an Eau Claire Firefighter.
Heather Harsh was recently sworn into the Eau Claire Fire Department.
"And once I went through fire training, I realized that it’s a team effort, and strength does play a part but overall, it’s technique and how well you can do your job," says Harsh.
But a woman on the job may be more valuable than many think.
"Sometimes patients prefer women. I’ve been on several calls where they’ve asked for a woman to be in the back," says Harsh.
This camp is hoping to fill that need; however, if this isn’t the right career path for some of the girls, that’s ok.
"The most important aspect of it is to build leadership skills and self confidence. We do a lot of challenges here for the girls," says Miracle.
The girls are learning valuable character traits that resemble those of firefighters.
"When I think of a firefighter, I think of being brave, risking your life, and showing people how much you care for them," says Braker.
"It also gives the girls an opportunity to encourage each other and work together as a part of a team," says Miracle.
In the end, it’s an opportunity that Heather Harsh encourages women to explore.
"So definitely don’t be afraid to try this because of your gender, and not want to fulfill this as a career," says Harsh.
On Tuesday, the girls will be participating in more intense activities such as handling charged hose lines and extinguishing small fires. The Girls on Fire camp runs through Thursday August 7th.