Women in Wildland Fire Boot Camp

The U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region will host the Women in Wildland Fire Boot Camp to train and develop a small group of career focused women to be on-call Wildland Firefighters. The Boot Camp will be held consecutive weekends: Sept. 5-7 and Sept. 12-14 with sessions in Albuquerque, NM and Phoenix, AZ. Deadline to receive applications is Sunday, August 17. Click for more info.

Tampa 2 – Recognizing Progress, Committing to the Future for Firefighter Health and Safety

Tampa 2 – Recognizing Progress, Committing to the Future for Firefighter Health and Safety: On March 10, 2014, the NFFF invited top leaders in the fire service to TAMPA2 – Building for the Future – 10 years later: to reaffirm our commitment to the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives and to identify the future direction of LODD prevention efforts and to help nurture the development of a new generation of fire service leaders. iWomen was represented by Secretary Susan Tamme and Eastern Trustee Angie Hughes. Visit website.

The first NFFF Firefighter Life Safety Summit was held in Tampa in April of 2004. The members of the summit outlined 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives in an effort to decrease the number of line-of-duty deaths.

Lt. Angie Hughes and Capt. Susan Tamme worked with Chief Billy Goldfeder at the Tampa2 Conference.

Lt. Angie Hughes and Capt. Susan Tamme worked with Chief Billy Goldfeder at the Tampa2 Conference.

On March 10, 2014 the NFFF invited top leaders in the fire service to TAMPA 2 – Building for the Future – 10 years later: to reaffirm our commitment to the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, to identify the future direction of LODD prevention efforts, and to help nurture the development of a new generation of fire service leaders. Speakers included New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, USFA Administrator Ernie Mitchell, and Vina Drennan widow of FDNY Captain Drennan, who spoke on the importance of the program and moving forward.

All the major fire service organizations participated in the Tampa 2 summit, including iWomen. iWomen representatives in attendance were iWomen Secretary, Captain Susan Tamme, and Eastern Division Trustee, Lieutenant Angie Hughes. Angie participated in the Company Officer Development group and Susan participated in the Health and Safety group.

Each group identified not only their specific goals but the overall need for changing the culture of the fire service for a safer and healthier fire service. The work groups also identified solutions on a regional, state and local level. The summit was about not losing site of the goal to reduce line-of-duty deaths, taking care of each other and our families, becoming a healthier fire service, recognizing the prevalence of cancer, and creating safer operating standards

The goals identified are to move the fire service forward for the next 10, 20, and 30 years. By continuing to keep the focus on firefighter health and safety, together we can ensure that “Everyone Goes Home.”

Thank you,
Laura Baker
iWomen President

Female fire leaders speak on mentoring, challenges with Fire Chief’s Senior Editor Mary Rose Roberts

Female fire leaders speak on mentoring, challenges with Fire Chief’s Senior Editor Mary Rose Roberts. Learn from female firefighters in leadership positions about how they were first introduced to the fire service as well as the challenges faced during their career. Female chief officers, captains and lieutenants discuss with Senior Editor Mary Rose Roberts their experiences, including how family and the love of serving others affected their decision to join the fire service. They also discuss how they in turn mentor young people to get involved in the service and follow in their footsteps. View the video here.

Visual representations of female fire fighters by Dr. Merilyn Childs

Visual representations of female fire fighters by Dr. Merilyn Childs. This presentation was designed to share visual representations of females in relationship to fire and fire fighting with female fire fighters attending WAFA 2012. The formal stuff: Dr Merilyn Childs, A/Prof of Higher Education, Charles Sturt University. Presentation to the WAFA Conference 2012 – ‘Achieving Success: Courage and Confidence Under Fire’ 26 – 28 July 2012, Hotel Grand Chancellor , Adelaide. The “NSWFB” referred to on slide 2, is the New South Wales Fire Brigades, Australia. View presentation.

Fighting fires and blazing trails: Windsor sees most female fire recruits in program history

Recruit class highlights move to diversified stations. Chantelle Dron, Cara Dunsmoor and Erin Janicek do it all.: Recruit class highlights move to diversified stations as featured on Coloradoan.com

Chantelle Dron, Cara Dunsmoor and Erin Janicek do it all. They give up most of their Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays to learn the ins and outs of fire safety. After working full-time or taking care of their families, they get ready to put in hours in a classroom, listen to lectures and practice technical skills.

Most afternoons and evenings, they can be found running laps, doing hundreds of squats or countless pushups. They get strapped down with heavy gear, navigate through mazes with blackout masks, come face to face with live fires … and love every minute of it.

Dron, Dunsmoor and Janicek are Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue’s three female fire academy recruits. Beside making WSFR history by being part of the largest group of female recruits the academy has seen, they’re also continuing in the footsteps of the female firefighters before them, forging their way through a predominantly male profession that, in recent years, has been making an effort to branch out.

“I believe that a fire service really should reflect the demographics of the community that we serve,” said WSFR Fire Chief Herb Brady, who came to WSFR in April 2010, describing it then as a “very linear, typical profile.”

Firefighters can often be lumped into the stereotype of “strong, healthy white guys,” Brady said, but, looking forward, he’s seeing that change a little bit more each year.

“I thought about ways to break that up some, and it’s finally starting to take hold in the past few academies,” Brady said. One example of this, Brady said, was WSFR changing the academy entrance exam to include a physical test focused more on cardiovascular strength as opposed to brute strength.

“We don’t exist in a vacuum, and our demographics shouldn’t isolate us from the rest of society. That’s not what we’re about,” Brady said. “And as this catches hold, the fact that we’re truly an inclusive organization will become a recruitment magnet for all kinds of people.”

The fire protection district currently has two part-time female firefighters as well as female fire marshal Sandi Friedrichsen, who came to WSFR in 2011 as its first female career firefighter. Read full article here.

The History of the FDNY Women Firefighters

Prior to 1977 there was a quota for women firefighters in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)—that quota was zero. It did not matter if you had won an Olympic gold medal, had been named the “strongest woman in the world” or held the world-record in the marathon—if you had been born female, you could not even apply to take a test to become a New York City firefighter.

Prior to 1977 there was a quota for women firefighters in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)—that quota was zero. It did not matter if you had won an Olympic gold medal, had been named the “strongest woman in the world” or held the world-record in the marathon—if you had been born female, you could not even apply to take a test to become a New York City firefighter.

All that changed when Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was finally applied to bar sex discrimination in hiring by city and state governments in 1972. When the FDNY gave the next firefighters entry exam for firefighters—in 1977—women were allowed to take the tests. Many did well on the written exam, but the physical exam was a different story. Instead of using the physical abilities test taken by previous male applicants, the department developed a “substantially different” test. Alfred Heil, Assistant Director of Personnel in charge of the test: “In my 20 years’ experience, this was the most arduous test we’ve ever given… for anything.”

When not one of the 90 women applicants passed the physical portion of the test, one of them, Brenda Berkman, filed a class-action sex discrimination complaint. Five years of expert testimony and inflammatory press coverage later, Federal District Judge Charles P. Sifton ruled that the 1977 test did not measure the abilities truly needed for the job of firefighting and the FDNY must develop a new test. Forty two women passed the new test, and in September 1982 entered the NYC Fire Academy, becoming the first women firefighters in the history of the FDNY.

They would need their strength for decades to come, for meeting the challenges of the job itself was only a start. Women firefighters more than women in many other blue collar jobs, remained a flashpoint for larger social conflicts over the role of women for decades to come.

Prior to 1977 there was a quota for women firefighters in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)—that quota was zero. It did not matter if you had won an Olympic gold medal, had been named the “strongest woman in the world” or held the world-record in the marathon—if you had been born female, you could not even apply to take a test to become a New York City firefighter.

All that changed when Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was finally applied to bar sex discrimination in hiring by city and state governments in 1972. When the FDNY gave the next firefighters entry exam for firefighters—in 1977—women were allowed to take the tests. Many did well on the written exam, but the physical exam was a different story. Instead of using the physical abilities test taken by previous male applicants, the department developed a “substantially different” test. Alfred Heil, Assistant Director of Personnel in charge of the test: “In my 20 years’ experience, this was the most arduous test we’ve ever given… for anything.”

When not one of the 90 women applicants passed the physical portion of the test, one of them, Brenda Berkman, filed a class-action sex discrimination complaint. Five years of expert testimony and inflammatory press coverage later, Federal District Judge Charles P. Sifton ruled that the 1977 test did not measure the abilities truly needed for the job of firefighting and the FDNY must develop a new test. Forty two women passed the new test, and in September 1982 entered the NYC Fire Academy, becoming the first women firefighters in the history of the FDNY.

They would need their strength for decades to come, for meeting the challenges of the job itself was only a start. Women firefighters more than women in many other blue collar jobs, remained a flashpoint for larger social conflicts over the role of women for decades to come.

– See more at: http://www.laborarts.org/exhibits/womenfirefighters/#sthash.gudEngOF.dpuf

Prior to 1977 there was a quota for women firefighters in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)—that quota was zero. It did not matter if you had won an Olympic gold medal, had been named the “strongest woman in the world” or held the world-record in the marathon—if you had been born female, you could not even apply to take a test to become a New York City firefighter.

All that changed when Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was finally applied to bar sex discrimination in hiring by city and state governments in 1972. When the FDNY gave the next firefighters entry exam for firefighters—in 1977—women were allowed to take the tests. Many did well on the written exam, but the physical exam was a different story. Instead of using the physical abilities test taken by previous male applicants, the department developed a “substantially different” test. Alfred Heil, Assistant Director of Personnel in charge of the test: “In my 20 years’ experience, this was the most arduous test we’ve ever given… for anything.”

When not one of the 90 women applicants passed the physical portion of the test, one of them, Brenda Berkman, filed a class-action sex discrimination complaint. Five years of expert testimony and inflammatory press coverage later, Federal District Judge Charles P. Sifton ruled that the 1977 test did not measure the abilities truly needed for the job of firefighting and the FDNY must develop a new test. Forty two women passed the new test, and in September 1982 entered the NYC Fire Academy, becoming the first women firefighters in the history of the FDNY.

They would need their strength for decades to come, for meeting the challenges of the job itself was only a start. Women firefighters more than women in many other blue collar jobs, remained a flashpoint for larger social conflicts over the role of women for decades to come.

– See more at: http://www.laborarts.org/exhibits/womenfirefighters/#sthash.gudEngOF.dpuf

Read complete article.

Lieutenant Jennifer Román of the Madison Fire Department receives the ATHENA Award

Lieutenant Jennifer Román of the Madison Fire Department receives the ATHENA Award Madison, WI March 2013 – Lieutenant Jennifer Román was honored with the ATHENA Award at a ceremony in Madison on March 12th. The ATHENA Award honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and forge paths of leadership for other women to follow.

Román, a career Lieutenant/Paramedic with the City of Madison Fire Department (MFD) and began her career in the protective services as a volunteer EMT, before putting herself through the MATC-UW paramedic program. While employed with MFD she earned a Master’s degree in Continuing and Vocational Education from UW-Madison. She served in the MFD Training Division for four years, where she taught over 100 MFD recruits. She was selected for promotion in January of 2012.

Román finds her career extremely satisfying. “As my colleagues know, it’s a great thing to be able to help people, when they are surrounded by chaos and can’t help themselves.” Román has been a Girl Scout volunteer for over 25 years and wishes that every girl (and every woman) would experience what Girl Scouts have to offer. “Girl Scouts is an amazing organization. They’ve been blazing trails for 101 years now, and are truly experts in leadership experiences for girls.” Román has served in many roles including Troop Advisor and Chair of the leadership team that supports over 500 Girl Scouts in the Monona-Cottage Grove–Deerfield communities.

Román credits her years as a Girl Scout volunteer for helping her become the person she is today. “I’ve gained so much more than I’ve given.” It’s no secret that few women pursue careers in the protective services. Nationwide 34% of EMTs, 13% of police and only 3.6% of firefighters are female. “It’s a wonderful career, yet many women don’t even think of it as a possibility and that has to change!”

Román realized that she was in a unique position to help make that change happen. She used her decades of experience and extensive network of resources in Girl Scouts, education and the protective services to create CampHERO.

CampHERO is a summer program aimed at helping girls develop courage, confidence and character while exploring the protective services (police, fire, EMS, dispatch). The inaugural two-week program in 2012 served over 160 girls in kindergarten through 12th grade. The curriculum was written by protective services professionals, instructors and Girl Scouts. Girls get hands-on training delivered by real police officers, firefighters, EMTs and dispatchers. Girls in 4-12th grade get to stay overnight with facilities and activities that mimic working in a real fire station. Details can be found at www.CampHERO4girls.org.

CampHERO was so successful that Girl Scouts USA selected it to become part of their nationwide Destinations program and it has gained the support of protective services agencies, technical colleges and area businesses. CampHERO 2013 plans are in full swing, a CampHERO Mentor Network was formed and plans for expansion are on the table.

Appropriately, Román’s favorite quote is by Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

The ATHENA Award is sponsored by the Madison Business Forum. Recipients must meet each of the following three criteria: Demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession. Provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community and assist women in reaching their full leadership potential. You may contact Jennifer Román directly at: 608-345-7227 , firecopjen@charter.net

The Health of Women in the US Fire Service

Abstract – The Health of Women in the US Fire Service

Background
Despite statements from national fire service organizations, including the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), promoting a diverse work force related to gender within the fire service, rates of women firefighters remain very low. Thus, research into why this extensive gender disparity continues is a high priority. Recent years have seen a number of large scale studies on firefighter health and health risk behaviors however, none have focused on the health of women firefighters and nearly all have eliminated women from the sample due to small sample size. Data from the present report is drawn from all females in a large, randomly selected cohort of firefighters in an epidemiological study designed to assess health outcomes and health risk behaviors identified as most important to the fire service.

Methods
Data reported for the present study were collected as baseline data for the Firefighter Injury and Risk Evaluation (FIRE) Study, a longitudinal cohort study examining risk factors for injury in both career and volunteer firefighters in the IAFC Missouri Valley Region. Of the departments assessed, only 8 career and 6 volunteer departments had any women firefighters. All the women solicited for participation chose to enroll in the study. The number of women ranged from 1 to 7 in career departments and 1 to 6 in volunteer departments.

Results
Where possible, comparisons are made between female firefighters and published data on male firefighters as well as comparisons between female firefighters and military members. Compared to male firefighters, females had more favorable body composition among both career and volunteer firefighters. Tobacco use rates were generally higher among females than males and rates among female firefighters were similar to the rates of female military members. While rates of alcohol use were higher than the general population, only one of the participants evidenced responses in the range of concern on the CAGE screening.

Conclusions
In general, the findings offer an interesting glimpse of the health of women in the fire service as a generally healthy occupational workforce with some unique health risk behavior challenges. They also highlight some of the similarities and differences between male and female firefighters and bolster the argument for studying female firefighters as a unique occupational sub-population.

Keywords: Fire fighters; Women; Occupational health; Alcohol; Tobacco; Body composition

Read full article on BMC Women’s Health website

4 Steps to Being a Better Leader

4 Steps to Being a Better Leader. Knowing what you want, rewarding good work, setting expectations and building relationships will improve your leadership abilities.  By Linda Willing

A friend who is a successful builder and developer recently told me the following story.

He had bought some properties he intended to fix up and sell at a profit, renting them out in the meantime. These houses were located in a part of the country that had been hit particularly hard by the recession, and labor was cheap and plentiful.

He wanted to hire a carpenter who could do the necessary work on the houses and also be on call for repairs while the properties were rented. People with these types of skills were numerous in that area, and he had many people respond to his ad for the job.

He carefully screened the applicants, including taking the time to go see actual work each of the finalists had done. Ultimately he selected one young man who did high-quality work. At the final interview, he asked the young man what he expected to be paid.

“Fifteen dollars an hour,” replied the hopeful applicant.

My friend was taken aback. Read more.

Women Firefighters Celebrate Game Changing Victory Won 30 Years Ago

In September 1982, forty-two women were ordered hired as New York City firefighters after Federal District Judge Charles P. Sifton found the City had discriminated against women in the firefighter hiring process. This would be the first group of women ever to be admitted to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), the largest and most elite fire department in the world. Their landmark victory in New York would also go on to cause game changing ripple effects in fire houses and departments across the country.

Amid great controversy, being opposed in court by their own union long after New York City’s lawyers had abandoned appeals, and with virtually no preparation for either the new women or their male co-workers, many of these pioneer women were subjected to the worst kind of harassment including death threats, tampering with their protective gear, physical assaults and isolation. The new women firefighters struggled not only to learn their jobs in this hostile environment but also to obtain properly-fitting protective gear, maternity policies, anti-harassment training and fair hiring policies for future generations of FDNY firefighters.

All but one of that pioneer generation are now retired, replaced by a new group of women firefighters even smaller in number (29 out of 11,000 firefighters). Despite these low numbers, the most recent 2012 FDNY recruitment drive saw more women than ever before applying to become firefighters.

Read full article on Women You Should Know website

An Employment Resolution for Minority Women & Single Mothers in Today’s Economy

According to the National Women’s Law Center, “unemployment rates for adult black women and men, adult Hispanic women and men, and single mothers have been persistently higher than for adult women or men overall throughout the recession and recovery.

By Dr. Cassi L. Fields
Read complete article here

According to the National Women’s Law Center, “unemployment rates for adult black women and men, adult Hispanic women and men, and single mothers have been persistently higher than for adult women or men overall throughout the recession and recovery. [Specifically,] unemployment rates are currently 10.9 percent for single mothers, 14.2 percent for adult black men, 11.4 percent for adult black women, 9.6 percent for adult Hispanic men, and 9.2 percent for adult Hispanic women.” One career option is in the Fire and Rescue industry…

Salaries and benefits, including pensions, for fire and rescue workers are often above the national average. Prominent female fire chief (retired), Marybeth Michos, recently said, “You won’t become rich being a fire and rescue worker, but you will lead a very comfortable life and have a very comfortable retirement.” If a woman becomes interested in pursuing these careers, they must begin their Missing Information Analysis© (MIA©), a strategy invented by the LeT© Corporation. Their MIA© should include gathering answers to these questions:

  • What are the specific tasks performed by fire and rescue workers?
  • What are the specific skills, knowledge and personality characteristics required?
  • What is the organizational structure (e.g., is it friendly and open to women and diversity)?
  • What is the promotion potential?
  • What is the selection process?
  • How do I prepare for that process
  • Who will make the final selection decision?

Applicants who come prepared with this information, should land the job.

Dr. Cassi Fields of the LeT© Corporation and Fields Consulting Group, Inc. has been supporting the Fire and Rescue Service for over 20 years. Contact her at drcassifields.com to learn more. A more in-depth review of the job can be found in Nontraditional Careers for Women and Men,.

Join the Fire Service

iWomen is Helping Moms Keep Their Families Safe

iWomen members recently worked with the Division of Health Promotion & Sports Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University to create two educational videos designed to reduce home injuries.The Home Safety and Fitness for New Moms videos are now available for immediate viewing and free download at safemoms.org. Please help us distribute this free information to all those that might benefit from it.

Because What You Do Is Dangerous Enough!

Leave Nothing to Chance, Incorporate an effective occupational related training program. By Patrick Washburn
Because what you do is dangerous enough! There is no excuse to be unprepared when the need to protect your own life and physical well-being arises.
There is a lot to be said for civilian compliance based on intimidation through appearance. It is done every day mostly by state troopers, doormen at fancy nightclubs, bouncers at roughneck bars and security for crowds at public functions and concerts. In fact, careful attention is given to posture, mannerism and body type of state police candidates; even the uni-form is designed to convey authority to the subconscious. This approach is effective in deterring physical hostilities in most rational members of society. Notice that I said MOST, not all and the qualifier is RATIONAL. This means in other cases, violent attacks are inevitable. That is why police officers carry: tazers, batons, pepper spray, a firearm / back-up firearm and a radio to call for additional officers for help in addition to hours upon hours of combative training.
Who else is exposed to the general public as a part of their day to day job? YOU! The EMT, Paramedic, Firefighter. You are trained to fight fires, not people; trained to provide emergency medical service not to subdue others in a fight for your life. The ironic thing is, in a lot of the cases, you are first to arrive, ahead of police, often to perform your duties under potential hostile circumstances.
Now, granted a 6’10” 250 lb no neck, pure muscle, beef cake fireman swinging his big fire hose in one hand and his fire ax in the other is not so likely to be assaulted on the job. But, the Fire Fighting Service is a diversified profession. There are people of all genders, races, orientations, ages, body types, sizes and levels of physical fitness. Not everyone is going to get the same level of compliance as the ‘RoboCop’ version of a fireman or EMT for many reasons. Those reasons may include:
  1. Drug induced rage or violent psychosis
  2. The perpetrator/s of an assault victim are still present at the scene
  3. Emotionally distraught family members perceiving that you are not doing enough for the injured party.

Criminal elements outside of the people involved in the emergency situation wanting to take advantage.. Read complete article in our May Newsletter

The After Action Review (AAR)

Rethinking Rethinking Critical Incidents: the After Action Review (AAR)

By Vickie H. Taylor

What if there was one simple thing you could do to help turn the corner toward that “culture of safety” we all seek? What if it were something you may al-ready do with your crew? What if the only thing it would take was to do it every day for every call?

The Incident Management System (IMS) gave the fire service a critical tool to ensure that every event, (from the most basic and routine to the most com-plex and demanding), could be managed using a consistent template. The consistent use of IMS, eve-ry day for everything, is a vital element -in making every call a successful and safe response. If the first thing you do at any scene is to execute the basics of IMS—establish command, broadcast your assess-ment, assign your resources, project your resource needs—then your default behavior when you come upon more difficult and dangerous situations – will be the same.

How can we just as consistently capture and capital-ize on that behavioral information that only comes to us from the direct experience of putting the wet stuff on the red stuff and the utilization of IMS? How can we move from the hierarchical structure and of IMS back to our informal discussions around the fire-house table without leaving critical learning opportu-nities on the fire ground? How do we take what was experienced at the end of a nozzle and turn it into something everybody in the organization can learn from and put to use? How can we ensure that what we do in relatively infrequent, high demand events will have a positive influence on the stuff we do eve-ry day? How can we make sure that the stuff we’re doing day in and day out keeps us prepared for “the Big One”? And how can we ensure that we keep safe-ty as a priority in every encounter, large or small?

Read complete article in our May Newsletter.

The Promotional Assessment Center Process

The Promotional Assessment Center Process – Part 4
By Steve Prziborowski

HOW WILL THE RATERS BE SCORING ME?
As a promotional candidate, it is critical to have an idea of how you are getting scored, and what type of rating sheets are typically being utilized to evaluate your performance. In a previous article, I discussed the commonly utilized “dimensions” (knowledge, skills and abilities) that would be evaluated of a candidate during a fire service promotional process. Those dimensions are usually taken from the job specifications for a specific position, as determined through a detailed job analysis where individuals currently in the rank rated what they did on a regular basis in the way of frequency. If you look at the job specifications for a certain position, such as company officer, you’ll usually see a variety of knowledge, skills and abilities that are expected for someone in such a position. From these job specifications, and a thorough job analysis, a quality assessment center can be created based on the most commonly utilized tasks of someone currently in that position.

Most raters will pencil in their scores and not finalize them with pen until after the candidate is long gone. Even though a rater is supposed to rate a candidate against specific scoring criteria (and not against another candidate), it is hard not to compare one candidate to another, especially when it comes to seeing where the final candidates end up on the overall list. During your exercise, the raters are usually taking thorough notes to keep track of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the things you did or did not do. These notes will then be used to assist them with coming to a final score once you’ve left the room and before the next candidate arrives.

Raters are usually asked to individually rate your performance prior to discussing your score with the other raters. This is done to ensure that everyone is objective. Once all have come up with an individual overall score for your exercise, then it is usually time to compare scores; some departments even make sure there is no more than a 10 point or 10 percent difference between raters before your score is finalized. For example, if there are three raters, and one rates you as a 70%, the next rates you as an 84% and the last rates you as an 93%, there is an overall difference of 23%. Since they need to get to within 10 points or 10 percent, now comes the discussion time. Now comes the negotiation process to ensure everyone saw the same things and did not miss anything or did not overrate or underrate anything. The one who rated you the highest or the lowest will start off by stating why they rated you so high or so low, in the attempt to convince whoever was at the opposite end that they need to raise or lower their score to get within 10 points or 10 percent.

I’ve seen this process work very effectively, especially when I’ve been … Read complete article in our April Newsletter.

A Day in the Life of a Firefighter & Emergency Responders

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a firefighter? Do you have what it takes? This must-see video is motivational, inspirational, encouraging, empowering and positive. If you have ever dreamed of becoming a firefighter—go for it. It’s a GREAT job and nothing should stop you.

Short Video produced by the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee, highlighting demands and rewards of being a firefighter, focusing in particular on women who have succeeded in the fire service.

Help wanted: Female firefighters

The Early Show on CBS – October 11, 2011

Female firefighters make up a tiny percentage of the overall numbers. But, in this  tough economy, fire departments are actively recruiting women. CBS’s Karen Brown takes a look at the new efforts to find women who can take the heat.

iWomen Oral History Project

Women in the Fire Service has initiated an oral history project that will collect and preserve the stories of fire service women. Our goal is to establish a collection of oral histories of women firefighters that will create a candid record of the history of women in the fire service.

We would like to involve firefighters throughout the U.S. in collecting these stories. The project will partner WFS with an academic institution to archive and maintain the interview collection.

It is especially important to gather and preserve these stories now, as many veteran women are beginning to retire from the fire service. We need you to tell us who should be interviewed, to conduct interviews, and to help us fund the project.

To participate, or for further information, please contact Brenda Berkman. Donations, which are tax-deductible, may be sent to Women in the Fire Service, P.O. Box 5446, Madison WI 53705. Please mention the Oral History Project when you make your donation.

Thanks in advance for your support of this important new initiative.

How Emergency Management Is Changing (For the Better)

Some of the pre-eminent women in emergency management share how they got into the field and how it’s evolved since the civil defense days.

Elaine Pittman | October 3, 2011 | Originally published on Emergency Management website

Like all professions, emergency management has evolved throughout the years to become what it is today — a defined field of work that’s paving a career path for future employees. The modern concept of emergency management has grown from the civil defense days — when in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created a federal office to protect civilians and respond to community needs in wartime.

As state and local governments saw the need for programs focusing on emergency management, veterans and retired first responders were the go-to candidates to fill these positions. 

Emergency management has had its share of challenges as people — from government and the public — sought to understand what it is and why it’s important. Even though historically there has always been some aspect of emergency management in the United States, hurricanes and earthquakes in the late 1960s and early ’70s were catalysts behind legislation and an increased focus on natural disasters.

Then in 1979, FEMA was created by presidential order, and people saw the likenesses between the agency and civil defense. There also was a shift toward focusing on all hazards.

Since the profession was traditionally filled with first responders and veterans, it was a male-dominated field, but that’s changing, and programs are developing to educate the work force’s next generation… To read the full story