STL female firefighter crew makes history; first woman-led firehouse team in over 150 years
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - For the first time in 165 years, an all-female fire crew will run a St. Louis Fire Department firehouse.
“This has never happened. To have four women on one company,” says Acting Fire Captain, Jessica Jackson.
Firefighters Pamela Saunders-Isaac, Licole McKinney, Jessica Jackson, and Elizabeth McCormick make up the historical team of women leading Engine 26 in North City.
“When that bell ring, we come together, and we get the job done,” said Fire Private Pamela Saunders-Isaac.
“It’s phenomenal. It’s something that I’ve never foreseen to come,” Acting Fire Capt. Licole McKinney says.
Fire Private Elizabeth McCormick is a 6-year veteran and is one of two female firefighters hired over the last 15 years.
“I feel super honored and privileged to work for what I believe is the greatest department in the world,” said McCormick. “I think there’s obviously more work to be done when it comes in the recruitment, hiring and retention of firefighters in general but especially female firefighters.”
Currently, only 12 St. Louis City firefighters are women. The department is working to grow that number.
“We don’t get very many women that do put in applications because they seem to think this is a job that they could not do, Jackson says. “Them actually seeing us today proves that you, too, can do this job.”
“I think this lets the little girls know they can do it even though they’ve probably already been told that fire trucks are for little boys,” Saunders-Isaac said. “But now they can see big girls do it too, and you can too.”
As the fight to get more women on board continues, so does the hope that one day more of them will be promoted to a fire captain.
“We’re making history.”
To apply to become a STL firefighter visit here.
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