For the first time in history, the entire fire fighting staff of the Pasadena Fire Department rolling out of Station 34 was all-female.
This is actually a big deal because this is not something that happens every day. Four women on staff at the fire station learned that they would be working the same shift together because of vacations and overtime, and the groundbreaking crew was under the command of Captain Tricia Rodriguez. It involved two firefighters and an engineer, and the fire department shared a celebratory photo of the moment on Facebook. Expectedly, the photo gained a lot of attention on the internet, and it was captioned with:
“FIRST all-female crew in history of Pasadena Fire Department riding together on Engine 34,”
Government Technology magazine reports that only 4 percent of firefighters in the U.S. are women. The Department of Labor reports that even though that figure has risen to about 14 percent in police work and the military, and even traditionally-male occupations like construction and farming have higher percentages, the percentage of women in firefighting remains very low. The Pasadena Fire Department is made up of 5 percent of women, which is above the national average.
Captain Rodriguez has since told CBS that the message they want to send to anyone is that if you have a dream or a vision, you can achieve anything.
“This is something we have looked forward to growing up and we put a lot of effort into it. We trained, and we studied and we took the same test everybody else did and we didn’t give up.” – she added.
Captain Rodriguez joined the Pasadena Fire Department back in 1994, and she was one of just three women in the department at the time. Sadly, though, Tuesday’s situation is not permanent.
Firefighter Terrazas said that the guys get to experience that every day, and it was really nice to enjoy the experience of a female-only firefighting crew.