IYN | Female first responders discuss life on the job, empowerment

In Your Neighborhood

Dear Viewer,

As a news reporter, I get sent to breaking news a lot.

There was one week, in particular, where there was a fire one day after another and in different locations. (Georgia gets hot!) One thing that stuck out to me every single time was all the women fighting fires.

Looking at all these females holding their own alongside the men, gear and all, I was in awe.

Fortunately, society is changing and showing the younger generation that men and women can do what they want to do. However, growing up, when I pictured a firefighter, it was always a male. It wasn’t that I thought females couldn’t do it, it was just the gender connotation that was tied to the profession, such as many people think females are nurses, teachers, etc.

Seeing the strength these women had inspired me. So much so, I had to know more.

Also, I did a story with Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. The Chief Deputy told me about the strong women on their team and how they present such a ying and yang quality with the men they work with. Again, I was inspired.

I reached out to Columbia County Fire Rescue and Richmond County Sheriff’s Office to talk to these women.

Women are in such a transformative period in society, so I wanted to know what it was like for these women to train and conquer in such a male dominated industry. Did they face adversity? Do they see a difference between gender roles? If not with their team, with those who need help and see a woman in uniform approaching them?

My curiosity got the best of me, and I’m happy it did. These women that represent all other females in the industry are truly remarkable.

I mean, let’s face it, it takes them two minutes to put on all that gear for a fire, and, with help… it took me six minutes.

They are inspiring, they are empowering, and they are females who save lives every day.

To all first responders, thank you.

-Jenna Kelley

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