Camp encourages women to join firefighting, emergency response

Camp encourages women to join firefighting, emergency response

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Metro Fire Camp gave young women a chance to learn the ropes of firefighting and emergency response.

This weekend, Portland Fire & Rescue and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue hosted a camp for young women ages 16 to 21. The agencies have hosted the camp for 13 years to encourage women to make careers in fire and rescue.

“If you don’t see yourself doing something or you don’t see someone who looks like you doing something, a lot of times you don’t ever think of yourself being able to do it,” said Terra Vandewiele, the director of Portland Fire Metro Camp. “We’re filling that gap. We give them a visual and hands on (experience), so they see themselves doing something that they typically don’t see women doing.”

The two-day hands-on camp trains young women in aspects of the job that organizers said have been historically male dominated.

They added that women make up 3% of professional firefighters in the United States.

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