Women in Firefighting: A History

Most of the history of women in the fire service is lost to us. It was not reported or gathered or preserved, and the names of the hundreds or thousands of women who served their communities on bucket brigades, fire watches, and volunteer fire companies from deep in the past until the 1970's will never be known.

The honor of being the first known woman firefighter goes to an African-American woman named Molly Williams. Held under slavery by a member of Oceanus Engine Company #11 in New York City. Williams made a distinguished presence in her calico dress and checked apron, and was said to be "as good a fire laddie as many of the boys." Her work was noted particularly during the blizzard of 1818. Male firefighters were scarce, but Molly took her place with the men on the dragropes and pulled the pumper to the fire through the deep snow.

In the 1820's, Marina Betts, a tall and impressive French-Indian woman from the Shinbone Alley district of Pittsburgh worked on the bucket brigades at fires. Her specialty, along with passing buckets, was recruiting "volunteers" from among the male spectators. Since she felt that "menfolks should be working" when there was a fire, those within reach of her bucket received a dousing of water; those more distant were intimidated by her imposing presence and sharp tongue. Betts remained a firefighter for ten years.

In 1859, at the opposite end of the country and social spectrum, the San Francisco heiress Lillie Hitchcock Coit became a fire buff at the age of fifteen. Seeing a fire on Telegraph Hill, she stepped into line with the short-handed Knickerbocker Engine Company #5, grabbed hold of the drag rope, and urged the fire crew on. After that, up until the time of her marriage, she attended every fire of the engine company, which made her an honorary member. For the rest of her life, she wore a gold "5" pinned to her dress, and signed her letters, "Lillie H. Coit, 5."

One October night in 1875, the Disston Lumber Mill in Atlantic City, New Jersey, caught fire. The resort town was protected by only one volunteer fire company, United States Fire Company No. 1. Pitching in to help out at the huge blaze was a 20-year-old woman named Adelheid von Buckow. She worked all night long, pumping water with the old hand pumper alongside the regular members of the company, who were amazed by her strength and endurance. Several years later, von Buckow married one of the members of the company, and before the company disbanded in 1904, they voted her into membership. Adelheid von Buckow Specht remains the only woman ever to be a member of the Atlantic City Fire Department.

In 1895, Carrie Rockefeller was chosen as a regular member of Engine Company #1 in West Haven, Connecticut, "for her valuable services in helping to pull the apparatus."

In Great Britain, the Girton College Fire Brigade was established in 1878 at this women's college just outside Cambridge. The idea for the brigade came to two students as they watched a fire in a haystack near the college. The college at the time had three small hand pumpers stored in the building's corridors, but no one ever practiced with them, and they were frequently left without water. The students designed a structure and a plan of action for the brigade, and weekly training for brigade members began, under the supervision of a London Fire Brigade captain. The Girton College Fire Brigade existed until 1932, when the advent of motorized fire equipment brought the college under the protection of the Cambridge Fire Brigade.

In the second decade of the twentieth century, fire protection for much of the Los Angeles area was provided by mixed companies of paid and volunteer firefighters; All-volunteer companies predominated in the outlying areas. In 1912, Chief Archibald Eley decided to encourage the formation of women's volunteer fire companies in residential areas that had a shortage of men in the daytime. The women were trained in the operation of hand-drawn, two-wheeled hose reels; a contemporary photo shows five women in long dresses pulling the rig down a suburban street.

Captain Marie Stack was put in charge of the LAFD's first all-woman company, which consisted of two other firefighters besides herself. Other women's companies included the Manhattan Place Volunteer Fire Brigade, made up of "socially prominent women" in the western outskirts of L.A.; it was later renamed the Society Fire Department. Because of the large size of the territory this company covered, the women attached a device to their hose reelthat allowed them to tow it to the fire behind one of their automobiles. Two years later, the Wilmington Park Fire Ladies, under the command of Chief Louise Leonardo, formed yet a third all-women's company. While these companies were short-lived, and certainly the women were never regarded as peers by male volunteer firefighters, we must believe that the women themselves took their responsibilities seriously, and that their efforts enhanced the level of fire protection in their communities.

Early in this century, Silver Spring, Maryland, now a major suburb of Washington, D.C., was still a small country town. In May of 1915, the town formed an all-women's volunteer fire company. Twelve years later, the company was still in operation, and boasted of being "the only fire company manned by women."

Back in New Jersey, Emma Vernell at the age of 50 became a member of Westside Hose Company #1 (now part of the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department) after her husband died in the line of duty in April of 1926. She was a fully qualified and active firefighter for many years, and was the first woman officially recognized as a firefighter by the State of New Jersey.

In 1936, also in New Jersey, the borough of Roosevelt formed a municipal government and chartered its first volunteer fire company. When the president of the fire company asked for volunteers, his wife, Augusta Chasan, was the first to volunteer. Chasan became known as the "Fire Lassie of Jersey Homesteads", and said that despite her small stature (5'1"), "I did my share of the work, and they respected me." When she was nearly 90 years old, Chasan was still making one "fire call" a year, riding the engine in the Fourth of July parade.

Nearly a decade later women became volunteer firefighters in New Jersey (and in many other parts of the country) during World War II, to take the place of men called to war. The first women members joined the Bradley Gardens Volunteer Fire Company in 1944; before becoming firefighters, the women had served in the department's ladies' auxiliary. In nearby Port Washington, New York, the fire department's ambulance service was turned over to women during the war. Mrs. Lee Warrender was given "an opportunity to prove herself capable of this kind of work...(S)he proved beyond doubt that she can replace the firemen who have gone to the front," and received the gold badge of the volunteer "fireman."

The fire departments at Scott Field and the Savanna Ordnance Depot, both in northern Illinois, were entirely staffed by women for part of the war years. Among the firefighters at Scott Field were Elsie Hollenkamp, Evelyn Peters, Arline Pressel and Leona Sprehn. At the Savanna Depot, a newspaper photograph of the period shows fourteen women firefighters with their engine. The accompanying article lists twelve additional women as members of the brigade, which was drawn from Hanover, Dubuque, Mt. Carroll, and the surrounding area.

Jo Carol Hamilton, the daughter and grand-daughter of firefighters and herself married to a firefighting instructor, began "helping at grass fires" in Shirley, Arkansas, in the mid-1960's. She later became a fire dispatcher, then an apparatus driver, and finally the chief of the Shirley Volunteer Fire Department, the first woman fire chief in Arkansas. She was also a fire instructor and wrote articles for national publications about women in the fire service. Hamilton learned from her own experiences the importance of proper technique in firefighting. At 5'3" and 105 pounds, she said, "I can normally handle an inch-and-a-half hose by myself. Yet I've seen it knock down big men who didn't know how to handle it. The difference is all in knowing how."

All-women fire companies developed in King County, California, and Woodbine, Texas, in the 1960's. The "Firettes," billed as "King County's fire-fightingest firefighters," were organized in 1962 to provide firefighting and first-aid services to King County Fire District #44 during the daylight hours when male volunteers were scarce. The Firettes attended a firefighters' conference in Yakima, Washington, and put on a demonstration where they extinguished flammable liquid fires, pit fires, and vehicle fires.

In 1967, several women in the small town of Woodbine, Texas, grew concerned about the risk posed by brush fires. The nearest fire department was ten miles away, and vegetation fires would often consume a building before fire equipment arrived. The women decided to form their own volunteer fire department. They held raffles and bake sales to raise $125 to buy a 1942 Ford pumper from a nearby department, and received training from neighboring jurisdictions and from the U.S. Forest Service. Undeterred by a lack of protective gear or a formal communications system, the Woodbine Ladies Fire Department grew to include 23 members and protected their community from fire for eleven years. (See black and white photo at top of this page.)

Women in the wildland fire service

In 1942, the OCD authorized a program developed by the Forest Service known as the Forest Fire Fighters Service (FFFS). This brought together the resources of a number of state and federal agencies to recruit and train residents in forested areas to serve as fire lookouts, firefighters, and in support positions with established fire protection agencies throughout the country. One account of the eagerness of women to volunteer for FFFS duty told of a woman - the mother of a soldier - who visited a western forest ranger and told him she wanted to fight fires. "And right up on the fire line, mind you... I can swing an ax with most men, and if those Russian women can shoulder rifles and march with their men, I guess I can eat smoke here in this forest where I've lived all my life."

The first all-woman forest firefighting crew in California was assembled in 1942. Employed by CDF, the crew, stationed at Soledad consisted of a "foreman," a truck driver, an assistant driver, firefighters, and a cook. One of the women may have been Gladys Craspy, who was listed in 1943 as one of three women hired as a "State Fire Truck Driver." Craspy worked at the Monterey Ranger Unit in San Benito, not far from Soledad, at the Mustang forest fire station.

The first women in the postwar period known to have been paid for fire suppression work were wildland firefighting crews working for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). One such woman signed onto an emergency wildland fire crew working on BLM land in Alaska in 1971. Not knowing what else to do, the office worker taking applications let her complete the form; by the end of the day, she was fired, since the crews "didn't want women in the way." Sympathetic media coverage in Fairbanks and the assistance of an attorney put pressure on the BLM to let her work. The agency finally agreed, but only if the woman could recruit at least twelve other women to work with her. She recruited 24. This all-woman crew worked through the summer of 1971 and, according to the BLM itself, "performed in an excellent manner." Nonetheless, they were terminated, and the following year it was decided that crews in the future would be mixed, male and female.

Another all-women wildland fire crew worked in Montana in 1971. A young VISTA volunteer, Barbara Konigsburg, was working for a Missoula agency that helped the USFS recruit seasonal firefighters, and became interested in becoming a firefighter herself. Along with several other women, she applied and was rejected, but eventually succeeded in being hired and receiving the necessary training. The team functioned as an all-female crew for two years before going co-ed.

Early female career firefighters

In Great Britain, during World War II, many women were active in the Auxiliary Fire Service during the Blitz, both on a part-time and wholetime basis. Fires from this aerial bombardment were numerous and devastating, and most able-bodied men were away at the front. Thousands of women served valiantly as dispatchers, couriers, canteen operators, and in some areas as pump operators and firefighters. More than two dozen women in the AFS died in the line of duty during the war.

As far as we currently know, the first woman to be paid for fighting fires was Sandra Forcier, who was hired as a Public Safety Officer -- a combination police officer and firefighter -- by the City of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on July 1, 1973. Forcier moved into a fire-only position four years later. She is now Battalion Chief Sandra Waldron, still on the job with Winston-Salem.

In 1973, a dental assistant and cosmetology student named Judith Livers was helping her husband study for his fire science courses. She read the book America Burning and was motivated to become involved in the fire service. In March of 1974, she was hired by the Arlington County, Virginia, Fire Department, the first woman in the world to become a career firefighter. Now Judith Brewer, she retired from Arlington County in late 1999, at rank of battalion chief.

Also in 1974, a woman named Sue Mertens became a career firefighter. A physical education major who had worked as a carpenter, teacher, and car salesperson, she had a significant family tradition in the fire service, as her father and two uncles were on the Miami, Florida, Fire Department. Sue moved to Del Mar, California, and got on as a volunteer there before moving up to a career position with that department. In that same year, Carmen Polk joined the newly formed volunteer fire department of Micanopy, Florida. Within two years, she had become the city's only full-time firefighter, running the department during the daytime hours.

The San Diego Civil Service Commission in 1974 ordered the hiring of women and minority men into the fire department. As this was the first large department to propose hiring women firefighters, considerable turmoil and apprehension developed around the issue. An organized opposition even raised money to hire legal counsel to block the order. The San Diego Fire Department nevertheless put five women into recruit training, but then washed them out halfway through the twelve-week course, amid much media publicity. The women later won an out-of-court settlement over their terminations.

By 1975, women were on career fire departments in Petersburg, Virginia; Fairborn, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and the U.S. Air Force. Among the first women to become career firefighters were a number of African-American women. An African-American woman named Genois Wilson was hired as a firefighter by the Fort Wayne Fire Department in 1975. Wilson worked in fire safety education and pioneered one of the country's first fire safety programs aimed at deaf children. Another African-American woman, Toni McIntosh, became a firefighter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1976, and Carolyn Mitchell was hired by the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department in January of 1977.

Anne Crawford Allen Holst, a great grand-niece of the founder of the Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Systems, was probably the first woman fire chief in the world. She became chief of the Cedar Hill, Rhode Island, Fire Department, in Cowesett (now divided between Warwick and West Warwick), in 1931. Known as Nancy, Chief Holst was also a pilot and was very active in forest fire management. Her papers on "Forest Fire Weather" and "The Airplane Angle of Firefighting" were published by the New England Association of Fire Chiefs. She later became deputy state fire marshal, and developed the first "Forest Fire Control Plan for the State of Rhode Island." She died in 1998.

More than 6,200 women now hold career firefighting and fire officer's positions in the United States, with hundreds of counterparts in Canada, France, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Trinidad, Australia and New Zealand. Women on Japanese fire departments have worked in non-line positions for many years, and are now working as EMT's and preparing to move into active suppression roles. Hundreds of career fire service women have been promoted to lieutenant, captain, and all levels of chief officer positions, while more than a dozen now serve as the fire chief, FMO, or other top-ranking officer of their organization.

Among the volunteer and paid-on-call fire and EMS forces in the United States are perhaps 30-40,000 women firefighters, and thousands more EMT's and paramedics. A large number are officers, up to and including the rank of chief. Many of these women are dedicated and skilled firefighters and rescue workers with a lifelong commitment to their volunteer departments; others, equally skilled, hope to move on to a career position in the fire service.

The history of women in the fire service is longer than anyone might have guessed, and though most of it is lost, we can still get a hint of the tradition we are perpetuating through our work. It is our obligation to collect and repeat these names, and to add to them so that the legacy will not be lost to coming generations. Not only are we as women part of the history of the fire service, but we have our own particular history to celebrate, even as we continue to write it.

Copyright © 2002 Terese M. Floren. Used here by permission; may not be reprinted without written permission of the author.


"A Centennial History," International Association of Fire Chiefs, 1973
American Forests, May 1942
American Forests, October 1942
Blackstone's History of the British Fire Service, quoted in the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook
“Communique” (California Division of Forestry & Fire Protection newsletter)
Ditzel, Paul C., Fire Engines, Firefighters
Ditzel, Paul C., Los Angeles Fire Department
Earnest, Ernest; The Volunteer Fire Company
Fire Chief, September 1974
Fire Chief, August 1978
Fire Command, February 1976
Firehouse, September 1984
Fire Management News, USDA Forest Service, Vol. 50 #1 & #4
The Girton Review, July 1882.
Kemp, Franklin W.; Firefighting By-The-Seashore
New York Times, July 28, 1974
USFA, Proceedings, First National Seminar on Women in the Fire Service
Pyne, Stephen J.; Fire in America
Smith, Dennis; History of Firefighting in America
Weiser, Marjorie P.K. , and Jean S. Arbeiter; Womanlist

African-American Women Firefighters

[Note: This information is condensed from material gathered by the staff of Women in the Fire Service, primarily in 1992. It is updated frequently, and some of the statistics have been changed to reflect newer data. Where not otherwise indicated, numbers are from 1992.]

In Memoriam: We are very saddened to note that Lt. Brenda Cowan, of the Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky, Fire Department, was killed in the line of duty February 13, 2004. She had been promoted to the rank of lieutenant only three days earlier. As far as is known, she was the first African-American woman firefighter to die in the line of duty.

The first woman firefighter we know of was African-American. Held under slavery by a male New York City firefighter, Molly Williams worked on Oceanus Company No. 11 in the 1780's, and was said to be "as good a fire laddie as many of the men."

From that bittersweet beginning, it was to be many years before free African-American women began to create their legacy within the U.S. fire service. As many as 500 Black women now work as career firefighters and officers in the United States, along with an unknown number of counterparts in the volunteer ranks. The history of these pioneers has not been saved in any systematic way, and we hope this brief listing of some of the names that are known will serve as inspiration for the collection of more comprehensive histories.

The earliest Black women career firefighters

In June of 1976, a Black woman named Toni McIntosh was hired by the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fire Department. She was probably the first African-American woman to become a career firefighter. She was also the only female firefighter on the PFD for more than eleven years.

Carolyn Mitchell in Kansas City, Missouri, hired in January of 1977, was another early African-American female career firefighter. In an interview for an article in Ebony magazine in 1988, she reported some of the obstacles she had faced. "They tried to make it as hard as possible...They'd isolate me, wouldn't talk to me, would make up special rules for me..." With 25 years on the job, Mitchell now holds the rank of captain and receives strong praise from her co-workers on KCFD.

Several other Black women were hired in the same year as Mitchell. Harriett Saunders and Theresa Smith were two of the first three women firefighters in Detroit, graduating from training in late September 1977. Detroit now has more than 20 African-American women firefighters, including District Chief Charlene Graham, who was promoted in 1996.

The District of Columbia Fire Department, which has been one of the nation's leaders in hiring Black women, employs more than fifty as firefighters and an even larger number in EMS. Beatrice Rudder, hired in the first group of women in 1977, later became a sergeant, the first woman to be promoted in the DCFD. She currently holds the rank of Deputy Chief, and heads the department's training division.

Firefighter Liz Summers was one of seven Black women who joined the Atlanta Fire Bureau in 1978; she "completed her training at the very top of her class." Also in 1978, Freda Bailey-Murray was hired by the Rockford, Illinois, Fire Department, along with four other women. Bailey-Murray later became the first woman of color to serve as President of the Board of Trustees of Women in the Fire Service.

In June of 1979, the city of Greenville, Mississippi hired the first Black woman firefighter in the state, Laverne Sing. The department now has six women, all Black, on the 88-person force. Sing and another woman, both lieutenants at the time, were promoted to captain in the fall of 1990. Also in the summer of 1979, the first African-American woman firefighter, Wanda Akbar (now Wanda Butler), was hired in Jacksonville, Florida. Genois Wilson, a 911 dispatcher for the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, became the city's first female firefighter after completing fire training in 1979. Wilson retired in 1995 after 20 years with the city, and now works as a probation officer counseling juveniles.

In 1980, Christine Richie-Myers was one of first two women hired by the Oakland, California, Fire Department. She was promoted to Inspector in 1983, and later became a lieutenant. The Oakland Fire Department currently employs more than 15 Black women.

The Seattle Fire Department had an aggressive women's hiring program for several years beginning in the late 1970's, but it was not until 1980 that Seattle hired its first African-American woman firefighter, Janet Beal. The second Black woman, Michele Williams, was hired in 1984. Beal was promoted to lieutenant in 1996, the first African-American woman to hold rank on the Seattle Fire Department.

The group of the New York City Fire Department's first women firefighters in 1982 included a number of Black women, most of whom who are still on the job twenty years later. Several have received unit citations for their work in the field, and one, Katrina Cannon, served as president of the New York women's organization, United Women Firefighters.

Cassandra S. Sidberry was hired by the Wilmington, North Carolina, Fire Deparatment in July of 1984, the first African-American woman on the department. She was promoted to Driver/Operator in 1989, and became the WFD's first female lieutenant in 1999. She was promoted to captain -- again, the department's first woman -- in February of 2000.

Also in 1982, Catherine Washington was hired by the St. Petersburg, Florida, Fire Department. She was named Firefighter of the Year in 1999. She is also a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves, holding the rank of Master Sergeant.

The Toledo Fire Department has employed Black women firefighters since its first women were hired in 1983. Out of 30 women now on the job, at least ten are Black. Firefighters Jennifer Wilson and Geraldine McCalland, along with Lieutenant Greg Fizer and Charles E. Anderson, in 1989 formed the first all-Black crew in Toledo Fire Department history.

Notable Black women firefighters in recent years

On July 14th, 1988, Chicago firefighter Phyllis Earl responded to a fire with her ladder company. She got off the truck to get an SCBA from a side compartment; at the same time, a responding engine drove past. Just as the engine passed the truck, an axle bolt on the engine apparently broke. The engine fishtailed and slid sideways, pinning Earl between the two vehicles. The driver of the engine was unaware that anything was wrong, and continued driving, rolling Earl sideways as the engine proceeded. (The driver was later treated for shock at a local hospital.)

Earl suffered numerous crushing injuries. She went into cardiac arrest at one point and had to be resuscitated. Her injuries resulted in the loss of her spleen, a kidney, and one lung; she later received a transplanted kidney donated by her sister. Co-worker Marilyn Schriner said at the time, "I felt that if anyone could pull through such an accident, Phyllis could... She is a remarkable, determined woman." Her extensive injuries forced Earl to retire from firefighting.

A Black woman named Jackie Jenkins is a firefighter/paramedic for the Kennedy Space Center Fire Department. Jenkins started out on the Cocoa Fire Department in her home town in about 1987; she later went to the Space Center and became the first Black woman captain in the state -- and probably in the country -- in less than a year. She was the first woman in Florida to win the "Outstanding Young Firefighter of the Year" award from the Florida Jaycees.

Cecelia O. Salters (now Cecelia Owens-Cox) was among the first group of women hired by New York City, and in 1984 was the first woman assigned to a FDNY truck company, Ladder Co. 9 in downtown Manhattan. (It is rare for women to be assigned to truck companies in the FDNY on a permanent basis.) Cecelia married co-worker André Cox in 1990, and the couple became the first FDNY firefighters from the same firehouse to marry.

African-American women fire officers

Jacqueline Jones is the only woman among the 650 men of the Newark, New Jersey, Fire Department. Hired in 1982, Jones was promoted to captain in 1989, one of the earliest Black women to reach that rank. At her promotion ceremony, the mayor of Newark said, "It is a privilege to recognize our first female fire captain... She has displayed academic excellence and a tremendous commitment to the community by putting her life on the line to save others."

The first woman to hold the rank of division chief on the Detroit Fire Department was an African-American woman, Charlene Graham. Graham is a 25-year veteran of the department and heads its Division of Research and Development. Several other Black women have been promoted to chief-level positions in recent years, including Pat Dyas, Battalion Chief in Shreveport, Louisiana, and Assistant Chief (Lt. Col.) Cynthia Brooks of the Louisville, Kentucky, Fire Department.

In March of 2002, Rosemary Cloud was named Chief of the East Point, Georgia, Fire Department: the first Black woman fire chief ever. Less than three years later, Debra Pryor followed in her footsteps when she became chief of the Berkeley, California, Fire Department.

Helping Black women enter the fire service

The International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters has national, regional, and chapter "Black Women in the Fire Service" committees to support women who are IABPFF members in addressing their issues within the organization. The committees' duties include increasing the number of women applicants to fire departments, investigating local problems women encounter on the job and enlisting community support for the women, and determining the effect that training, or lack of training, has on women. The president of the national committee is Captain Claudia Stevenson of the St. Louis Fire Department.

Black women in volunteer firefighting

Information on volunteer firefighters is much sketchier and more difficult to retrieve than that from the career sector. By one estimate, there may be as many as 2,000 Black female volunteer and paid-on-call firefighters in the U.S. According to the IABPFF, a number of all-Black volunteer fire departments have been identified but "no comprehensive study has been made of the African-American contribution to the volunteer fire service." Apparently there were all-Black volunteer fire companies in Mississippi and South Carolina during the Reconstruction era. The historic self-governing Black town of Eatonville, Florida, made famous as the birthplace of the writer Zora Neale Hurston and the setting for two of her books, has had an all-Black fire department for decades, as well as one of the first Black fire chiefs in the country. Orlando firefighter Deborah Crawley began as a volunteer on Eatonville before entering the career service.

The Belvedere, Delaware, Fire Department is another example of an all-Black volunteer force that includes several women. Similarly, the Dobbins Heights Volunteer Fire Department in Hamlet, North Carolina, has four women firefighters, including one captain; the only Black women firefighters in Richmond County. Some Black colleges, such as Central State University in Ohio, have volunteer fire departments that have included women for many years. There are certainly many more African-American women who serve as volunteer firefighters, whose numbers are difficult to count and whose names remain unknown except to those who work with them.

The future

The number of African-American women firefighters grows every year. With the increased visibility of those currently on the job, awareness will continue to grow among young Black women that firefighting and rescue work are fields that offer them great opportunities and rewards.

[This article could not have been written without the generous assistance of many people. Thanks to Mr. Romeo Spaulding, Brenda Brooks, Freda Bailey-Murray, Crystal Golden, Sheila Hopper, Christine Richie-Myers, Chief Ernest Cannon, Marilyn Schriner, Pauline Kinnebrew, Firefighter Walz, and the Greenville Fire Department, for sharing the information that made this chronology possible. Numerous articles from Smoke (the former IABPFF journal), the article on women firefighters from the March 1988 issue of Ebony, and Robert Hemenway's biography of Zora Neale Hurston were also used as resources.]

We appreciate any updates our readers can provide: Contact us.

Copyright © 1992, 2000, 2004 Terese M. Floren. May not be reprinted without written permission of the author.




Women in Firefighting: A History

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