Women in the Fire Service, Inc.
Bulletin Board/Guestbook Archives
September-October 2001


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 Posted 10/30/01 xxxxxReply to: or

I have read many of your messages posted in regard to the lack of exposure of women at Ground Zero or mention of those who helped in the rescue or recovery efforts. I honestly get ill watching how great the FDNY/NYPD are and the use of "fireman/policeman", if only one of those reporters did their homework, they would find out that there were many people at Ground Zero that gave of themselves unconditionally and should be acknowledged! I know, my partner & I were one of the first EMS units dispatched to West Avenue & Liberty, went into the south tower, got 3 people out, got buried alive when the north tower exploded and debris pinned approximately 30 of us against the outside of the American Express building, then the south tower exploded, again my partner and I were surrounded by debris but we managed to get out, treat people, put people on boats, instruct citizens how to help injured people and move equipment -- (abridged version).

The misconception of many people is that EMS is FDNY, it is part of FDNY and then FDNY subcontracts work to local hospital/other ambulance services; this is where I fit in. I am hired by a local hospital, I do not receive the benefits of the FDNY service (I do the same job!). I was called for a job at FDNY but I am constrained to a set schedule because I am a caregiver for a senior who needs supervision -- it is hard to get services for a senior where I live and I really do not trust people agencies would send to help.

I am also a volunteer firefighter & EMT for my local Fire Department, which has not been supportive of me before this incident and still is not supportive after my experience at Ground Zero. Yes, I am aware of the fact it is a male dominated organization but the lack of common decency as a human being by many in my own company and other members of the fire department
astounds me! I will not be chased out of my fire department because I have put many years in and I will not let the immature behaviors of some have me leave something I believe in -- serving my community!

I did my job September 11th, 2001, I put my life on the line each and every day like many other people do and it is a shame that many people's eyes open after the tragedy occurred!

I am saddened by the loss of those who have passed away, the families affected and the survivors that have a long road of recovery ahead. The amazing thing was many people were saved due to the efforts of all who were there at Ground Zero, whether it was a professional or a citizen.

This is my opinion and I hope it does not offend anyone, I write to inform people of the true reality and it helps me by writing what I experienced.

Thank You!

Be safe & Be careful!!!

(EMT/Firefighter - New York)

 Posted 10/29/01 xxxxxReply to: or

Does anyone have advice on what women should wear for oral boards? I have read some advice from "Capt. Bob" but it seems rather matronly. I know that I shouldn't dress flashy or trendy but I don't want to look like I'm going to a funeral either.

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


J. Nielson

 Posted 10/22/01 xxxxxReply to: or

I am Julian Davis, a woman fire fighter from Jamaica with six (6) years of unregrettable service. I have found your web site to be very informative. You are giving hope to persons like myself who intend to make this a career. I will always keep in touch.

Let me just say how saddened I was to hear of the death of your firefighters in the Sept. 11 incident. Condolences to the family and friends who are grieving. Keep on giving hope to women who are hesitant in choosing a career in this once male dominating field.

God's Richest Blessings.

Julian Davis
Lance Corporal
Jamaica Fire Brigade

 Posted 10/22/01 xxxxxReply to: or

Tonight I watched the concert for New York on VH1. Like most of the recent specials I've seen featuring firefighters from the NYFD, all of the firefighters who got on stage and who spoke were men. With all the coverage of the tragedy at the trade center, I don't have the image of a single woman firefighter to associate with the events -- I've heard from one female paramedic and a couple of women police officers, but no firefighters.

Althought I'm not a firefighter, I think women everywhere would benefit from seeing the faces and hearing the stories of these women. Even in casual newscasts the anchors refer to the sacrifices made as those of "the men of the NYFD who lost their brothers". Even on the website of the New York City fire department, it's virtually impossible to find the names of women listed in any of their publications regarding annual honor ceremonies for firefighters.

Your website is the only place where I've seen the name and story of a woman firefighter from the NYFD, and I think it would be a great service if you could post photos of the other women of the NYFD at work on the rescue effort. As it stands, the only female voices I've heard are the widows of the firefighters who died on Sept. 11th, and while I deeply appreciate their sacrifice and pain, it'd be nice to hear from and see the women who took a more active role.


Allison Borovik
Chicago, IL

 Posted 10/15/01 xxxxxReply to: or

Hello to All;

My name is Amanda, and I just recently graduated from Florida's firefighter minimum standards, and I am testing for employment next week. It has been a tough 6 months but well worth it. I have been a volunteer firefighter for 7 years and finally going after my dream. I am thrilled to have found this web site for women in the fire service. Keep your heads up! God bless those working around the clock (and world) in the wake of all of this terror... Our prayers and hearts are with you all!!!


 Posted 10/15/01 xxxxxReply to:

I'm a reporter at the FOX news affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut. I'm working on a story about women firefighters in Connecticut and wondering if anyone out there can help me make some contacts. The story will try to touch on how many women are firefighters nationally, growth trends, physical requirments, personal stories, and anything else interesting that might come up.

You can contact me at lperez@fox61.com or 1-860--723-2065.


Laurie Perez
FOX 61 News

Posted 10/15/01 xxxxxReply to: or

I just found out that I was accepted to the fire academy & I am trying to get some information on the pre-employment medical exam, specifically the audiological (hearing) test. I have a minimal to moderate hearing loss in my left ear (which is corrected w/ a hearing aid). And I am trying to find out what the specific hearing requirements are for being a fire fighter. The problem that I am running into is that no one really wants to publicize that information for fear of discrimination law suits. Getting into school is one thing but actually getting a job is another. I really want to be a fire fighter (ever since I was a kid), but I want to know if I am setting myself up for a big disappointment, because honestly, if I'm not going to be able to get a job, then I should spend my time & money going to school for something else.

If anyone has any information on the specific hearing requirements or perhaps has a fellow firefighter who has a hearing loss that might be able to give me some insight into this I would be very grateful. Please feel free to e-mail me directly or reply back via the WFS bulletin board.


Posted 9/26/01 xxxxxReply to: or

I was very excited to find this site and hope that someone can help me with this problem.

I am a volunteer and career paramedic/firefighter in a predominantly volunteer county. There is no fire administrator or county chief, but a governing body that is comprised of representatives from the individual fire depts in the county. These people have varying degrees of involvement in actual emergency response (was that tactful?).

My county requires an annual physical that they provide through a local physician. This year for the first time since the program began, they are requiring all females to be tested by this physician (no way) or submit documentation to this physician of a gynecological exam. They don't just want to know that we had one, but they want the actual patient record from the exam.

I feel that this is an invasion of my privacy. Plus, it has no bearing on my ability to perform my duties. I have argued this point with my company officer and with the doctor's office to no avail. I also questioned the doctor's office as to what information they could learn from my patient record that would exclude me from being active, and they could not give me an answer, further validating my point that it is not relevant information.

The bottom line is that I either have to: 1) give in and submit my documentation, 2) become excluded from emergency response at the end of the year (no paycheck) or 3) prove to them that this illegal practice (this is my preferred action).

The problem is that I don't know where to get the information I need. Everything that I find is related to maternity. I don't have a lot of resources for an attorney, which I think would end this very quickly and easily.

One more thing that I should add is that this program has historically been very poor on the confidentiality issue and in the past, the doctor was in trouble with the state health department for testing all of us for HIV without written consent. Not a very good track record!!!!!

Thanks to anyone that can help me with this.

Paramedic Wendy

 Posted 9/26/01 xxxxxReply to: or

 I'm sure I am not alone in wanting some information about our sisters (and brothers) in New York. How is everyone holding up? I work here in Santa Barbara, Calif. with 6 other women in fire suppression, and our Fire Marshall is also a woman.

We watch the news and see the photos and like all firefighters everywhere wish we could be there to help ease some of the incredible burden and sorrow you must be experiencing. In our small part we have done some inspiring things here locally... I helped out in a drive-by fund raiser that resulted in $60,000 collected. We have sold t-shirts, and today with the help of a local radio station we created a "human flag" with an estimated 6,000 people. The proceeds of the photographs and posters from this event will also be sent to New York.

It all seems so small, yet it has felt good to come together with the community and do something for all our fellow Americans, especially the police, fire and rescue workers. We love you guys, and our thoughts and prayers are with you everyday. We wish you added strength and perseverance in the days, weeks and months ahead.

 Posted 9/19/01 xxxxxReply to:
  I am proud to announce that the Lady's Island/St. Helena Fire District in Beaufort, South Carolina, has recently selected their first two women to serve as line lieutenants. I myself will be promoted October 1, and Brandy Horton will be promoted next year. We were the top two selections for three available positions, out of twelve eligible firefighters.

We were both hired in 1995 after volunteering at a neighboring fire department. At that time, the LISHFD had only 24 career firefighters. Since then, the department has more than doubled in size.

Brandy and I are both pursuing degrees in fire administration from the Technical College of the Lowcountry. I am also serving as the fire district's Public Information Officer.

We are very proud to have been selected, and hope to have successful careers as officers. We would love to hear from any of you who have made this transition and can offer some words of wisdom.

Patti B. Daul
Public Information Officer
Lady's Island/St. Helena Fire District
 Posted 9/12/01 xxxxxReply to: or

To all fire service personnel in the U.S , especially those in New York , my
thoughts are with you at this very sad time, may you and those close to you
find the strength to get you through...

Yours with deepest sympathy,

Jo Evans
Firefighter -- Merseyside, England

 Posted 9/12/01 xxxxxReply to: or

Prayers for the New York firefighters, police, and all emergency personnel that were trying to do their job.


 Posted 9/6/01 xxxxxReply to: SWAlpina@aol.com or

Re: Insult of intellegence

I ordered you "Women in the fire service" meeting the challenge video and the pamphlets.

The video was done very well, I am also equally as glad that there is a resource for women such as myself.

However my fellow female colleagues and I were insulted with the pamphlet. All of my career I have attempted to educate young women on taking careers in male dominated roles But to see a comment from a female batalion chief, in florida, highlighted in a pink box, stating "the rewards of a neatly typed letter or an efficient filing system do not compare to the rewards of controlling a chaotic situation..etc" was very degrading and insulting to the males and females in the fire service, who's role is office work. I showed a colleague, a male, who also felt it was insulting, it would be if you were a man or a woman. What message are you sending to little girls? That a parent who pushes paper gets less rewards and thus far is less a hero than say...a firefighter...?

I would like to return the pamphelts, but would rather you work hard to replace them with newer updated ones that are not as insulting. We are talking about educating children about OPTIONS are'nt we?



  Reply posted 9/13/01
  Re: insult

I understand your frustration. I also see where the female battalion chief was coming from.

Likely, she was commenting on a change of career, from the corporate world to the fire service, where in the corporate world you are contributing to the success of a company, a nebulous thing out there, but in the fire service you see your impact on the community immediately. It is why I am considering making my volunteer firefighting a career and leaving the corporate world behind. Those in the fire service are very fortunate to get paid to better the world, and to be able to go home at the end of a shift feeling as though you've contributed to society. It is something that a lot of other career opportunities simply cannot offer, and something we should always feel blessed to have in the fire service.

Stay safe.

-- T.

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