Apr 16, 2024
Fort Worth FD looking to boost female firefighter numbers


The Fort Worth Fire Department in Texas is making strides to increase the number of female firefighters they employ. As it stands currently, career women firefighters make up roughly five percent of its workforce.

A recent story from CBS News detailed the efforts by the Fort Worth Fire Department to increase the number of female firefighters. Below is an excerpt from the CBS News story.

There are currently 40 women firefighters in the city, which makes up 3.8% of the department. That number will soon get a boost; There are 15 female recruits in the current class at the Fort Worth Fire Training Center.

Fort Worth hired its first female firefighters in 1982, and four decades later, the women who work in the department want to show they’re just as capable as their male counterparts.

“I have the capabilities of lifting a 200-pound, 6-foot-2 man, and so what we have to do is just train a little bit harder,” Kristy Cothran, a teacher at the Fort Worth Fire Training Center, said.

Makayla Barnett joined the Fort Worth Fire Department after serving in the military.

“I didn’t want to do something where I felt like I was just doing a 9-to-5 making a living. I wanted to feel like I was really affecting my community,” Barnett said. “Other young girls or women even get excited. They’re like, ‘Oh, a woman is doing this job.’ It surprises them, and it kind of surprises me that it surprises them.”

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The department recruits at colleges, schools, and in the military, as it hopes to increase interest in girls and women pursuing firefighting as a career. Women firefighters like Barnett encourage females to join groups like the non-profit Women in Fire, go to a fire camp, or volunteer for a day to see if the job is the right fit.

To read the full story from CBS News, click here.