TERMINAL ISLAND (CBSLA.com) — The LA Fire department is taking steps to get teen girls interested in firefighting and emergency services, with a two-day camp at the Fire Department Academy in Terminal Island.
About 70 teens attended Saturday.
CBS2’s Joy Benedict was there to see how camp went.
“I’ve always wanted to do this,” said Molly Martinez, who’s wanted to be a firefighter since she saw her first fire truck.
Don’t let her diminutive size fool you.
“We’re capable to do it just as well as men are,” Martinez said.
“You can save someone’s life,” said Kilea Lee, 16, who wants to be a paramedic. “I didn’t think I was strong enough until I got here and put on the gear and we can do it.”
The gear weighs 70 pounds.
“There are women who can do it,” agreed LA Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas. “You have to target and recruit.”
The LA Fire Department is three percent female. Most fire departments have even fewer female firefighters.
“This is a passion for us and we’re happy to pass that on to the next generation,” said Oakland firefighter Kim Green, who volunteered at the camp. “If we get enough of these going it won’t be such a mystery to young girls. They’ll say ‘I can be a firefighter.'”