Becoming a firefighter is something many kids dream about, but how many follow through with the goal of becoming a first responder? Thanks to encouragement and early career exposure provided by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Foundation, many more – including girls – may choose that career path.
Every year the Girls Empowerment Camp provides teenagers of all genders between the ages of 14-18 a free opportunity to learn what it takes to become a first responder alongside San Diego’s finest. This year’s camp took place April 6-7, and it was the largest camp ever.
The next camp is already scheduled for April 4-5, 2020. Save the date and watch for details in early January 2020.
Two Days of Realistic, Hands-On Training
For the past three years, we have proudly partnered with San Diego Fire-Rescue Foundation to support the Girls Empowerment Camp – opening doors for San Diego youth to rewarding careers that keep our community safe.
The two-day camp provides participants realistic, hands-on training with a variety of firefighting tools and equipment used by professionals to respond to emergencies every day. The campers are also exposed to a 360-degree view of fire service career options and receive first-aid training.
Diversifying the Ranks of First Responders
In recent years, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department has been working to encourage diversity among the local fire service. The Girls Empowerment Camp is a way to expose girls to fire service careers by giving them the opportunity to experience it takes to be firefighter, including how to man fire hoses, climb ladders, don full turnout gear, and even climb out of windows.
For some young girls, this camp is all they need to ignite their curiosity and imagine themselves working in the fire service field.
Firefighting careers can open doors to even more advancement opportunities in fields that cross over with public safety, such as meteorology.
For example, Carrie Bowers, our very own fire science meteorologist, previously spent nine years as a “hotshot” or wildland firefighter. Knowing the impact weather has on fires, Carrie pursued additional education in meteorology to deepen her knowledge in fighting fires. Part of her job is to study past fires in our region and the weather patterns that dictated their behavior to help SDG&E keep our community safe and mitigate risks to the regional electrical infrastructure.
To learn more about the Girls Empowerment Camp, visit sdfirerescue.org/gec/. For information about additional youth programs offered through the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, visit sdfdcadets.com.