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I'm almost 18 and will be graduating high school next year. I'm 5'7 and 98 lbs. Any way i could be a firefighter? I'm a small girl for my age to say the least. but this is what I've always wanted to do... should i drop the dream?

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What makes you think you should drop your dream? There are tons of ways you could be a firefighter. I don't think you should drop your dream just based on the fact that you are a petite girl. On the department that I am a member of, we have a woman who is not much bigger than the dimensions you have given. She absolutely loves being a firefighter! Would you rather never give yourself the opportunity and then question your decision for the rest of your life? It is better to have tried and not like it then to have never tried at all! Don't sell yourself short. Back to the woman on our department, I've seen her pull charged hoseline, bust out windows, pull ceiling, swing an axe, force entry, run extrication tools, and many other tasks on the fireground. I would not hesitate to have her "run" into a burning building with me. I hope this has been helpful, the fire service needs passionate, dedicated people. Best of luck to you!

FF 6,
Monroe Fire Department (http://www.monroefiredept.com/Index.cfm)
Micah E. Coppes
Hey Steph,

Never give up on your dreams! If you want something bad enough you will find a way to make it happen. There are so many different aspects to the fire service and there is a place for everyone. Decide what you want to do....train....work hard and become the very best you can be. The fire service needs dedicated, passionate people who love the job. Take Care and Stay Safe! Walter
Never give up on your dreams! The fire service needs gorillas and squirrels, meaning alot of the time being small is just as important as being big. I would suggest looking up "CPAT'' and find out what your going to be in for, so that you can begin training. I would also recommend getting a few study guides for the civil service entry exam. You can usually find them dirt cheap on half.com or ebay. Good luck to you and keep your dream alive, its the best job in the world dont let it pass you by.
Take care
If you have the desire you can do anythig you want...do not be discouraged. Just like the guys you will have to work hard..good luck.
Follow your dreams, work hard, get a good solid education and learn as much about this great profession that you can. Most importantly never stop learning.

As many have mentioned we all know female firefighters who do the job each and everyday. There is a organization you might want to look to for some of the specific questions you have;

http://www.i-women.org/index.php?osCsid=c37bcd1787b20f9e9433bea247c...

But, no worries work hard and follow your dream!.

Good luck and stay safe.

P.J.
Stephanie,

If I can offer any words to you let me tell you a story. A few years back I was still a FF in my city. I held a senior position on an engine company. It is a four person engine, so I was the lead FF. We toned out on a house fire on a Saturday night. Our engine was first due. En-route, we were advised by police on scene that we had a working job, with a female trapped. The Captain turned and looked back at me and said the grab is yours, I 'll follow you with the nozzle. Upon arrival, there was fire noted in the front living room and large volume of smoke showing. My partner and I forced the front door as the Capt and other FF began deploying a hose line. We reported the fires location, just inside the door and we proceeded towards the back bedroom. Within a few minutes we found our victim lying on her bedroom floor, unconscious. We could hear the Capt and other FF working behind us. The Capt joined us in the hallway and we began to work our grab out of the house. The nozzle FF was yelling for us to follow his lead. He had held the fire in the front room in check, waiting for us to come back through. We took her to the front yard where she was successfully resuscitated. Now as you can guess, due to your topic, a female FF was involved somewhere in this story. It was my partner, she is all of 5'1 about 105. It was also her first grab and really her first working fire. She earned my trust and respect that day, because she did the job.

Work hard, stay on track. You'll do fine.

Marty
Stephanie,
I couldn't help but reply to this. I also noticed that everyone that has so far are all males. They don't know whats its like to be a woman in the fire service. But I'll tell you now.
I grew up knowing what I wanted to be, my father, brothers, nephews, uncles and cousins are firefighters. So I tell people either I became a firefighter or kept my mouth shut at the dinner table. But if you knew me you'd realize I still wouldn't keep my mouth shut. My father said, once there was no doubt that I should have been a boy. Everytime a fire truck was around I had to explore it. Even if it was one I saw hundreds of times before. Its a passion.
This week I was lucky to attend FDIC for the 9th year. And watch one of my biggest mentors Lt. Ray McCormack give a speech, that hit very close to home. He mention people I grew up loving and admiring. One especially, Capt Paddy Brown, FDNY. I knew Paddy, in a totally different way, then most people. I was a young kid not knowing where my life should go. He told me to grab a dream and run with it, and not let anyone tell you you can't. Well girl I did, 20+ yrs.
But you must have a goal, you must have mentors, and you must have the drive, cause its hard.
When I started I was only 18yrs old 5'6 and 103lbs. I worked out all the time and thought that was enough. Girl its not. You have to get into a mind set that your one of the guys... sorry, i'm not being sexist, but you must. Sometimes your treated like one of the guys, but then you'll be treated like a true lady...... On the fire ground you must be one of them. Forget about men vs. women crap... it doesn't work..... you'll be ask time and time to prove yourself, and if your a good firefighter you will. Its not because your a female, its because your a firefighter.
Paddy wasn't the type that approved much of women on the fireground but if you could do the job its yours. If you know much about the fireservice you'll know that Paddy died on 9/11.
It was a great loss to me personally. I live in OKLAHOMA, I shouldn't have known people in NYC. But on that day, it was the second time I ever questioned my wants to be a firefighter. The first time was when my love of my life was tragically killed in a military helicopter, when I was only 22yrs old. Before that he made me promise that firefighting would always be my passion. But I almost walked away. Thats when I had the honor of meeting a young DC firefighter that told me about his family of firefighters, his quote was, " If its in your blood, don't drain it"...... today he is one of FDNY bravest, Lt. Mike Ciampo, and it has only been recent that I've been able to thank him for those words that kept me doing the best job there is.
See girl, 1# thing you must have in this lifestyle is mentors. Study them, learn from them, and never think your better.
As I said I questioned me being a ff, twice. And the second time was on 9/11, see I'm also a flight attendant. My life that day will never be the same. I almost gave the hope of the nozzle in my hands or the control of lifting someone bigger then me up, or hearing a young kid said, mom that lady's a fireman, LOL,again. Thats when I felt that Paddy gave me my second mentor Lt. Ray McCormack, and I didn't give up. Its just now, I have young firefighters that I try and motivate into learn and wanting to learn like I was so lucky to have done.
I'm a grandmother now, my grandson thinks he has the cooliest "mahmah" around. My two children, well, they think I'm crazy. But you must have the love first. Don't go into it blindly. Don't go in thinking that its a easy ride, cause for a woman it never is. Don't go into it with a chip on your shoulder. Because honestly you wont cut it that way.
You must be strong minded but not overly, you must have the strength to fail, and just jump and start over. You'll lose alot but you'll gain even more. And remember women that aren't on the job, will never understand you. And they will be jealous. I know alot of females that are more jealous of me being a firefighter then me being a flight attendant. Go figure??
One more thing, you must be prepared that its a lifestyle not a job. you'll have 2 families, and its a bond that can't be broken.
I hope I've helped you. If you have the Passion, go for it. But again, it must be in your heart...
Sincerely Jro
Hey There!

What a dream to have!

Being a firefighter is not about male or female, tall or short. Being a firefighter is about having a heart, having enough courage and honor to do the job. By reading your past posts, you seem to have the heart, the love, and the courage to be a firefighter.

I worked with a firefighter with your exact description and she was one of the best in our house.

MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE!

Take care
Todd McKee
Stephnie, Didn't know if you ever read any of your replies to your question. After I wrote this I was looking at the picture on my profile. See the young guy next to me in the middle? I was at the hospital the day he was born, 21 yrs ago. Now he is fighting fires with me. Thats what its all about, its family........jro
P.J. Norwood said:
Follow your dreams, work hard, get a good solid education and learn as much about this great profession that you can. Most importantly never stop learning.

As many have mentioned we all know female firefighters who do the job each and everyday. There is a organization you might want to look to for some of the specific questions you have;

http://www.i-women.org/index.php?osCsid=c37bcd1787b20f9e9433bea247c...

But, no worries work hard and follow your dream!.

Good luck and stay safe.

P.J.


Such a very amazing link!


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