Women in the Fire Service, Inc.
Bulletin Board/Guestbook Archives
March-May 2001


To reply to a posted message, you may contact the requester directly, e-mail your reply to WFS, or both.

WFS will edit messages for length as needed, and will screen all messages for their suitability for this site. Inappropriate messages will not be posted. With few exceptions, we will not post links to private businesses or other for-profit entities.

Please read this important disclaimer! We encourage all visitors to exercise caution in giving out any personal information (such as telephone numbers) or entering into business or personal relationships with strangers -- here or on any other Web site. Inclusion of material on this page does not constitute its approval or endorsement by WFS, Inc.

 Posted 5/24/01 xxxxxxReply to: elisawhite@mindspring.com
   I am a program coordinator for Georgia Romance Writers, an affiliate chapter of Romance Writers of America. We are hosting our annual conference in October in Atlanta, GA. Our conference covers the many facets of writing fiction.
We would be very interested in having the perspective of a female firefighter. If anyone in the Atlanta area would be interested in speaking (and giving us the real scoop) on being a female firefighter, I would love to hear from you.
 Posted 5/24/01 xxxxxxReply to: dandejohn@aol.com or info@wfsi.org
   I am presently preparing to take the CPAT in June and I am having trouble with the stepper mill. I can only do a minute and a half in practice and have not progressed to the three minutes in the past four weeks. Do you have any information that could be helpful? The 75 pounds may as well be a ton of bricks at this point. After I did the stepper I continued the course with some struggle but it is attainable. Would you also have any information on the success rate for women to pass this test? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Desperately, DJ
 Posted 5/17/01 xxxxxxReply to: tharris@satx.rr.com or info@wfsi.org

 I want to start a new career as a firefighter at the age of 40. I am in good shape but am stepping up my weight training. Can anyone comment or give advice about my age? The only bit of information I found concerning a max age is the City of Austin (35 years). Do other departments have the same age limitations? Also, as others have posted, I am interested in any specific information on physical training to prepare for testing.

Please send responses to tharris@satx.rr.com

Posted 5/17/01 xxxxxxReply to: cahowe00@hotmail.com or info@wfsi.org
  To All My Fellow Female Firefighters Whose Gloves Don't Fit-

I just discovered this website and am thrilled that there is a site to network with other women in the fire service. I also wanted to share that I have found gloves that fit me (XS/Cadet sizes previously had not.) Luckily, I work with very supportive male firefighters, one of whom purchases equipment for a volunteer department. He brought in a pair of Shelby Firewalls size S and they fit perfectly! The Shelby gloves are men's, but run very small. They are NFPA compliant and much less bulky. Many of us wear them at my station. We have run into problems because some suppliers will not sell them in quantities less than 12, but if there are several women on your department needing gloves, you can order together. I hope that helps and please feel free to contact me if you have trouble finding them.
Stay Safe!

Carrie Bowling
Lexington FD, Lexington, KY
Posted 5/17/01 xxxxxxReply to: misty_d22@yahoo.com

 I'm in college writing a research paper on discrimination of female firefighters. If anyone has stories they can tell me of discrimination or of what their station is doing to prevent discrimination, I would love to hear them. I am looking for positive as well as negative stories. I think you are all doing something wonderful. Thank you for opening doors for the rest of us.


 Posted 4/12/01 xxxxx Reply to: Krapf911@home.com or info@wfsi.org

Need Info

I am looking for any info on station facilities (i.e., bathrooms). My department has finally gotten some money to fix the stations. I heard there was a lawsuit in New York City years ago regarding this topic. Does anyone remember? Please send any info you have. Thanks.


 Posted 4/12/01 xxxxx Reply to: firewoman8@hotmail.com or info@wfsi.org

Fellow female firefighters,

On March 24 I posted a bulletin asking for help. I am giving a presentation to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls for a program called "Find your dream" on April 28th. I will be talking about what it is like being a female firefighter. My husband was making a large wood display for me. I wanted to put up pictures of fellow firefighters on it. The point of it was so that these girls, who are growing up in a small rural town, could see the faces of other women who are doing this great job. I wanted them to see that even though I was the only one standing in front of them that there were more women out there who chose the fire service as a career and a lifestyle.

That is where you all were suppose to come in. I asked for you to send me pictures. I am sorry to say that I did not receive any pictures. Not even one. I will be up there talking to these girls standing next to a doctor, a scientist, a pilot, and many others. I wanted to show them that though these are all great professions, in the Fire Service no matter where you are you are all part of the same family. I guess I was wrong.

Sincerely, disappointed

 Posted 4/2/01 xxxxx Reply to: katychka2@yahoo.com or info@wfsi.org

I can't think of a better place to ask for help! I am sure that any woman who has tried to accomplish the simplest of tasks using "standard fire gloves" has had difficulty... myself included. I have been trying to "make do" with the XS gloves which my station provided for 5 months, and now am using VERY OLD gloves given to me by a fellow female ff.... but I need a new pair.

The ones I have are the old style Cadets/size Medium. These are still too big: a Small or XS would be perfect, but I hear they are no longer producing them.

Does anyone have any suggestions on where to look, or whom to call? I've tried Gall's and any site online that I can find, as well as all local shops carrying gear... please help- it seems that as women we have enough to overcome in this department without worrying about where the "extra 5 inches" of our gloves are going :) Please email me with your responses.



 Posted 4/2/01 xxxxx Reply to: mmorales@mediaone.net or info@wfsi.org

My name is Mike Morales, I am a retired fire captain and I operate a web site dedicated to fire and rescue stories written in first person form by fire and rescue personnel. The web site is www.firefighterexchange.com. Over half of the stories on submitted to the site in since its initiation last summer have come from female fire personnel. I invite the members of your organization and visitors to your site to look in on my site and further I invite anyone interested to send a story to the site for publishing on the site.

In any event I will link this site to yours. Your site is wonderful!


Mike Morales
 Posted 4/2/01 xxxxx Reply to: kelly@mykindaplace.com or info@wfsi.org


I'm an English journalist who's writing a feature on 'different' jobs for women for the teenage girl website I work for. I'm looking to interview a female firefighter (via phone or email) and would really appreciate it if anyone has the time to respond to a few questions. If you can help please get in touch.


Kelly Moran
5th Floor, Ferguson House
124-128 City Road
London EC1V 2NJ
Tel: 020 7553 3351
Mob: 07941 622979

 Posted 3/29/01 xxxxx Reply to: hilaryfcfd56@yahoo.com or info@wfsi.org

Please help!

I have been a fire fighter for the past six years, the last four at an army base. This past year and a half have been as a civilian. Our department has had women for the past ten years, but they have all left for different reasons or been injured. Writing this sounds like such a trite issue, but it is very big to me and I am looking for some support. It is about hair!

Promotions are coming up at our department, and I am qualified. The union (otherwise known as the last official good ol' boys network) went to management about my hair! Management has never in the past ten years had a problem with the handful of women who have worked there. We have all worn our hair back in a ponytail, with out any incident. But now that promotions are coming up they (AFGE union) are forcing me to comply with the grooming standard that only applies to men. I will have to cut my hair so that it does not exceed an inch below the top of my ear, and also wear my hair above the collar.

I tried to explain to management that this is a standard for men and not for women. The department has never had anything in writing, only verbal understandings with the females (I think they thought we would eventually go away.) Management has always understood this and never tried to force us to comply. But the union steward is forcing the issue! Of course he will not say who it is, he says that he does not have to disclose who it is. So I go on shift wondering who it is. I love my department, but I have never felt so alienated or harassed at work. All I want is to wear my hair the way the females for the past ten years have! By the 12th of next month, they will start putting letters in my file, and I assume after I tell them that I will not cut my hair, then try and fire me!

I have always loved my job and the guys I work with, but I can not believe this could happen in 2001!

Does any one know a good lawyer? I have a little money saved. Please help!

Posted 3/29/01 xxxxx Reply to: Icanfxu866@cs.com or info@wfsi.org

Hello Ladies,

I want to first tell all you women out there who want to be firefighters:
YOU GO, GIRL. Go get your dreams. I have always wanted to be a firefighter
and finally have achieved my dream. I recently got on with Las Vegas Fire &
Rescue and have loved every minute of the challenge.

I want to know if anyone out there knows how to get in touch with a calendar company. We just don't seem to have many female firefighter calendars available and I am looking for some way to change that. Any info is greatly appreciated and everyone stay safe out there.


 Posted 3/29/01 xxxxx Reply to: Fieryrdhd51@aol.com or info@wfsi.org

I was wondering if a department had no light duty or maternity leave policies, what do pregnant females do?

I am the only female firefighter in my department of 25. We are a very small department and do not have light duty positions. We have a fire inspector's office; however, it is a different entity. We have no policies in our department or in our union contract for women. They offer the Family Leave Act to all employees, but that is only for 12 weeks!

I have no idea how long I should work for, or what I'm going to do when I can't work any more. My questions are:

1) Do departments have to have policies on maternity leave or do females have to take their sick and vacation leave for the time?

2) What should I wear, when the uniform issue starts to be a problem? ( Our department requires you to wear Nomex, due to insurance issues.)

3) How long should I work in a hazardous environment?

Thank you in advance!


 Posted 3/24/01 xxxxx Reply to: JHosig@aol.com or info@wfsi.org
  I am one of two women on a career dept of about 75 firefighters, and am the first ever to be pregnant! I have just been switched to light duty, working in the Training Office. I am due in June. I would like to network with others who have gone through pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding in this career. My dept is very supportive of me, but I'm still "the only one" and would love to have other women to talk with. I would like to know how you managed uniforms with your growing belly, how long you stayed active before going to light duty, how soon you returned, how did you manage breastfeeding (my schedule is 24 on, 48 off). Thanks to everyone in advance!

 Posted 3/24/01 xxxxx Reply to: firewoman8@hotmail.com or info@wfsi.org
  I am giving a speech on April 28th to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls for a program called "Find Your Dream" to talk about what it is like being a female firefighter. I am making a large standing display. On it I would like to put pictures of fellow female firefighters from across the world!! Send me your pictures!!! And tell me your name if you want to and where you are from. Send them to:

MAFB Fire Department
ATTN: Jessica K. Cervantez-Stanley
320 Flightline Drive
Minot AFB, ND 58705

Thank you.
 Posted 3/24/01 xxxxx Reply to: rprice@gbso.net or info@wfsi.org

I need info on fire/rescue agencies that allow family members to work on the
same trucks, same stations, and same shifts. Any info or policies with the
name of the agency will be helpful .Thanks.

Vicki Price

 Posted 3/24/01 xxxxx Reply to: kristindodge@hotmail.com or info@wfsi.org
  I am a romance/suspense fiction writer looking for federal park or wildfire
fighters who would share their experiences and expertise. I'm interested in
the process of wilderness/mountain firefighting, descriptions of camping and
living environment, etc. Please e-mail me at kristindodge@hotmail.com.
 Posted 3/3/01 xxxxx Reply to: mwilcox@ci.englewood.co.us or mswlcx@aol.com

I am looking for a female bowling partner who is in the fire service to
compete in the World Police & Fire Games in Indianapolis in June. I need a doubles partner and hope we can put together a team. The team can be mixed with men and women, but must be in the fire service. If you are interested, let me know. I am an average bowler with approximately a 150 average (B).

Marla Wilcox
mwilcox@ci.englewood.co.us or mswlcx@aol.com

 Posted 3/3/01 xxxxx Reply to: ml96 and ak98@aol.com or info@wfsi.org

HELP! I have two things I need help with.

1. I was recently injured on a fire. I am looking for any information on safety devices that prevent an aerial (not a platform) from being retracted while a firefighter is on it. Or anything that allows the person at the tip to control the ladder.

2. Light duty policies for injured firefighters. Also any information on what
the employer would be legally liable for!

Please e-mail responses to ml96 and ak98@aol.com. Thank you for your

 Posted 3/3/01 xxxxx Reply to: USSwim01@aol.com or info@wfsi.org

Hi everyone,

I'm an 18 year old female who is very interested in becoming a future firefighter. My plans for college next year are to go to a technical school to achieve my degree in paramedicine ( paramedic), and to continue on to the fire academy where I will take firefighter I & II classes. In the meantime I plan on taking the written,and the physical agility tests for practice until I pass my firefighter classes.

I currently do an internship at my local department and I absolutely love it! I'am a highly competitive swimmer, and I lift weights. What other types of exercises can I do that will help prepare me for being a firefighter? What kind of weights should I be lifting? If anyone could answer my questions I would appreciate it greatly!

Thank you!

Salem, NH

   Reply from: anita.mail@wanadoo.fr posted 6/13/01
   Hi, Maura, greetings!

You have got a good way. I am a young firefighter in France, and I suppose your training are not quite different.

You must have good knowledge in medic subjects, and get a very good physical training, the best you can. Cliff climbing can be a good practice and will give you the sense of stability and confidence, and develop strength and agility (get trained to the daily board, as we call it).

You must be able to wear very heavy devices or carry bodies. Getting trained wearing a very big weight on your back (as in long walks) is good too.

The worst training exercise for us was (or is yet) the fire smoke chamber. Fitted with the respirators, we have to stay up to 20/30 minutes in a closed cave with a big fire and a huge cloud of smoke. Our back turned to the flames, we must sit and wait, breathing slowly, very hot air coming from the cylinders heated by the fire -- and we can't throw away our mask. After, we have to run with our package and masks. So, being trained in diving, apnea, and wearing masks helps a lot to get used to the smoke (common in forest fires).

Good luck, and ask more if you wish.

Anita Leroy
 Posted 3/3/01 xxxxx Reply to: books@fiatgirl.com


I am a woman and a San Francisco Firefighter. From late April to early June of this year, I'm going to be motorcycling to the East Coast and back. I'd be interested in meeting other Fire Service women during my meanderings. I've got no set plan yet except that I plan to traveling on U.S. 50, U.S. 2, and U.S. 101 between Washington and San Francisco. (These might change based on bad weather, natural disasters, or poor road conditions resulting from any of the foregoing.)

If you live or work along one of these routes, or within less than an hour's drive from one of them, and would be interested in meeting me to talk about your experiences as a woman in the fire service -- volunteer or paid, line firefighter or officer -- please let me know .

I'm not writing a book or anything. This is just a framework I thought I could use to make my trip more interesting. If you are also a motorcyclist and would be interested in participating in a leg of the trip, this might also be arranged.

If you know of any female firefighters from these areas who do not have Internet access, please contact me and I will be happy to provide a snail mail address or fax number to use as an alternative method of contact.



More Bulletin Board archives:

July-September 2003 x x x March-June 2003 x x xJanuary-February 2003
October-December 2002 x x x July-September 2002x x xFebruary-June 2002
November 2001-January 2002 x x x September-October 2001 x xJune-August 2001
January-February 2001 x x May - December 2000
March-April 2000 x x xJanuary-February 2000 x x x November-December 1999

Current Bulletin Board   What's available?  WFS conferences  About WFS
Home Joining WFS WFS' publications  Links