This weekend, Portland Fire & Rescue’s (PF&R) Fire Camp 2010 drew in young women ages 16 to 19 from Portland all the way down to Bend, Oregon! Close to three dozen female campers participated this weekend in the second annual Fire Camp, part of a new effort to recruit more women to PF&R and firefighting as a career. The young women learned about this opportunity from current firefighters, City of Portland employees, home school organizations, teachers, counselors, schools, the PF&R website, and the Women in Trades career fair.
The 3-day training camp was created, taught, and supervised by female professional firefighters from Portland Fire & Rescue, Hillsboro Fire Department, Salem Fire Department, Clackamas County Fire District #1, and Gresham Fire & Emergency Services with the goals of instilling confidence, building leadership and team skills in young women, and providing an opportunity to try firefighting through hands-on training.
The camp teaches young women specific firefighting skills, including how to lower oneself from upper-story windows using a rope, how to take a hose, and how to climb an aerial ladder on a fire engine.