Teenage girls got a taste of what it's like to be a firefighter at the Lexington Fire Department's first Brenda Cowan Fire Camp this past weekend.
Girls ages 16 to 19 advanced hose lines, climbed ladders and used the Jaws of Life equipment to cut up cars on Saturday morning at the Fire Training Center on Old Frankfort Pike.
The free camp was predominantly instructed by female firefighters who introduced the topics of EMS, rescue and firefighting to the girls, as well as promoted sisterhood and empowerment.
“Historically, the fire service has not done a great job of marketing the career of firefighting to girls,” said Lexington Fire Chief Kristin Chilton said in a news release. “This camp is our way of trying to bridge that gap, and to let girls know they can pursue any career they want, including firefighting.”
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Chilton said the fire department has 15 female firefighters and three female recruits who are expected to graduate in July. The fire department's authorized strength is 574.
Seven girls participated in the two-day camp, the fire department said.
The camp was named for Lt. Brenda Cowan, 40, who was shot and killed in 2004 while trying to render aid to a woman whose husband had shot her on Adams Lane.
“Brenda was a role model for all, but especially young girls,” Recruiting Battalion Chief Lee Hayden said in the news release. “Naming this camp after her was a fitting way to honor her memory and her legacy.”