Women in the Fire Service, Inc.
Bulletin Board/Guestbook Archives
January-February 2001

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 Posted 2/17/01 xxxxx Reply to: chrisahess@hotmail.com or BBoard@wfsi.org
   My name is Chris Hess, and I am a Fire Captain with the California Department of Forestry in San Diego, CA. Two years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy and underwent several months of chemotherapy. I am happy to say that I am now cancer-free and ready to help my sisters in the same situation. I will be joining with several other women as we ride our bikes across America to raise money and awareness to this epidemic that is claiming thousands of women's lives every year.

In order to partake in this grand adventure, I must raise $8,000. Here's where I need your help. I am selling firefighter antenna balls to help raise the funds. They are "very cute" and for a mere $6.00 (plus shipping) you can help me to help the thousands of women who are now fighting for their lives.

If you are interested, please feel free to email me at chrisahess@hotmail.com

I thank you ahead of time for your support. In LOVE & SPIRIT,

 Posted 2/17/01 xxxxx Reply to: SunshineAngel039@aol.com or BBoard@wfsi.org

 Hi, everyone --

I am glad that there is finally a place for female firefighters, it's about time.

I have been in the fire service for eight years. I ran with a fire and rescue company in Pennsylvania. I really enjoyed it, alot of training and alot of hard work,but it is well worth it.

Why is it, cause you are a girl, you have to prove yourself to the guys, that you can handle it and do the job. That you have to earn their respect, well it may have took me awhile but I did just that. I proved to them that I can handle the job just like they could, and I did earn their respect and trust. That made me feel good, that they told me they trusted me on the line and they would back me up anytime and that they would trust me backing them up.

Just wanted to say hello to other female firefighters and to be able to talk to other firefighters, other than men.

 Posted 2/9/01 xxxxx Reply to: mkuryla@hillside-il.org or BBoard@wfsi.org
  I am soon to hire 5-6 female firefighter/paramedics in a department that has no current females. I went through your web site and printed some valuable information about bunkroom issues, turnout gear and other topics. I have been trying to find some sample policies in regards to these issues. If some of your subscribers could forward some to me, I'd be grateful. I hold a strong regard to the fire service being open to anyone that wants to do the job. I am in the process of preparing my department for this welcome addition. Not all of the current firefighters are comfortable and I am trying to provide information so that they can be better prepared. Thanks.
 Posted 2/4/01 xxxxx Reply to: Aimee1218@msn.com or BBoard@wfsi.org

We are currently looking for a solution to our lack of restroom facilities at greater alarm fires. We currently have no facilites available to us when we are on the fire scene, and it may be hours before we get relieved. I am looking for some ideas from other departments on how you are taking care of this issue. We currently have 30 female firefighters in our department and we are in need of some type of solution for us and also the male firefighters. If you have a way that your department is handling this please let me know.

Thank you very much.

 Posted 2/4/01 xxxxx Reply to: kwyatt@ci.lebanon.oh.us or BBoard@wfsi.org


I am looking for vision statements from fire departments. We currently have a mission statement and our goal now is to move onto a vision statement. I have found it difficult to find any fire department websites that list vision statements, so if you know of any, please e-mail me. Also check out our website: ci.lebanon.oh.us/fire/


Capt. Krista Wyatt
Lebanon, Ohio, Fire Division

 Posted 1/22/01 xxxxx Reply to: pholdeman@earthlink.net or BBoard@wfsi.org

Dear WFSI and Readers,

I am a 30 year old female paramedic student in Kansas City. I will follow MICT with fire fighting essentials in Jan. of 2002. My chosen educational path is a result of surrounding areas converting their fire staff to fire/EMS. My main interest has always been fire. I am enjoying and do have in interest in the medical side but am anxious to start fire. I look forward to being skilled at both!

I have come across a great number of negative opinions toward fire and EMS mergers. I believe they are all institutional and administrative complaints (non co-worker oriented). My area is merged and I have witnessed (via ride along and inquisition) no indifference's between crew members regarding their variation of modalities. Firefighters, EMT's, and Firemedics (male and female) work side by side harmoniously.

If you have any comments concerning this topic or pearls of wisdom for me as a student I would be grateful to receive them.

Polly Holdeman

Posted 1/22/01 xxxxx Reply to: er_tech@prodigy.net or BBoard@wfsi.org
  I wanted to post this link to an article I wrote about women in emergency services for the Firefighting.com website. Much of my information was found here at WFSI and credit was given to this site. I am glad there is a place on the net for female firefighters to exchange information!

Rebecca Richardson
 Posted 1/22/01 xxxxx Reply to: ghoulii98@firefighting.net or BBoard@wfsi.org

Hi! My name is Lori Ontrop. I'm a freshman who is majoring in Speech Communication at Shippensburg University in PA. This summer will be my fourth season working at Dorney Park. I'll be supervising Camp Snoopy, the children's rides. Three of my coworkers/good friends are firemen or medics. Because of them and a day when I got to be a fireman for the day (for winning a coloring contest in fourth grade), I have become greatly interested in becoming a volunteer firewoman. I lift three times a week now. Sometimes I also work out on the treadmill or bike. I do Tae Bo three times a week unless I swim one of those days. My physical abilities are my only true concern about becoming a firefighter even though I would not classify myself as weak. Does anyone have any words of advice or encouragement? I greatly respect all of you for giving of yourself and truly wish to do the same. Please contact me via e-mail if you can. Thanks!


 Posted 1/22/01 xxxxx Reply to: jens@peoplepc.com or BBoard@wfsi.org


I am a female fire chief in a small East Texas town. I am the first active female firefighter here and the first female chief. But I am posting here to find some information that seems impossible to find else where. I am looking for some history on the Woodbine Firettes in King County Fire District # 44. I am trying to locate the names of the members especially the fire chiefs name. If anyone can assist me please email me at jens@peoplepc.com, and thank you for any assistance you might be able to provide.

Chief Jennifer Martin-Bell
Corrigan Fire Department

 Posted 1/18/01 xxxxx Reply to: CaptainCats@MindSpring.com or BBoard@wfsi.org
  I would like information from women who have breastfed while on 24-hour shifts. My baby is due soon and I hope to breastfeed for the first year. I have four months maternity leave but then I go back to shift. Luckily I am assigned to a station where as the captain, I have a dorm to myself although the locker and bathroom facilites are shared. During the week we usually train at the main station in the mornings. My pumper usually runs 1 - 6 calls a day. Any suggestions?
 Posted 1/18/01 xxxxx Reply to: LRFD802@yahoo.com or BBoard@wfsi.org

Our organization is preparing to test in the early spring. In the past we have tested with a consortium and they administered the written and physical ability test for us. We would like to give this test ourselves this next time. The issue is what is a fair physical ability test?

We currently make all of our members take and pass the "Fireman Combat Challenge" on an annual basis. We require all applicants to be certified FF II and paramedic to take the exam. I want to know how the women in the fire service feel about the fairness of this standard. Do you think it would be a fair entrance level physical ability test? We only grade on a pass/fail. You either complete the course in the required time or you don't.

Thank you for your time. While I have been in the fire service for over 23 years, I am not from the "old school"(I do think there is a place for women in this field).

Please email your responses to LRFD802@yahoo.com and any other comments you may have. We don't have a female firefighter yet but I hope we have one before I retire. Won't it be great when you can just drop the term female first and just say firefighter?

Posted 1/17/01 xxxxx Reply to: monkyma@neo.rr.com or BBoard@wfsi.org
  Hello, lady firefighters. I am a 46 year old mother of three who at this ripe old age is going into firefighting. A passion of mine since I was young and strong. Raising my kids was my life, and now that they are all grown...my life is about to begin. Now, the questions I have for you all is: At this age am I totally crazy for doing this? What can I expect from the Firefighter 1 test? I am 120 lbs., 5'4". I have been working at a rural volunteer station, and the guys have treated me so well... so far. They encourage me to do this, but am I fooling myself? School starts in March ,so help ASAP would be so much appreciated. Thank you all!
Posted 1/17/01
  The Florida Fire Inspectors' Association will hold its 26th annual Fire & Life Safety Seminar May 7-11, 2001, at the Rolling Hills/Best Western Resort in Fort Lauderdale. For seminar information, call 305/381-8235 or log on to www.flfireinsp.org.
 Posted 1/9/01 xxxxx Reply to: BBoard@wfsi.org


I found it really interesting reading through your bulletin board. Great to have a site for women, well done.

I am a female volunteer firefighter in New Zealand and have been since 1981.
Just remember you are all doing a fabulous job out there, keep up the great work.



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