Encouraging Young Women to Become FireFighters

A new program  could help increase the number of  women in the Houston Fire Department – even as HFD is dealing with accusations that is not a very welcoming place for women.

CampHoustonFire is a new program for young women in high school.  Once accepted into Camp Houston Fire,  they’ll get a hands on learning experience about the rigors and the rewards of   being a firefighter. 

While it could take years to increase the number of women in the Houston Fire Department, this program is a good start.

HFD is still dealing with the fallout from problems reported last year at station #54.  That’s when female firefighters Jane Draycott and Paula Keyes reported that they found racist and sexist graffiti scrawled on their lockers. A picture of Draycott’s deceased daughter was also defaced.

After several months, dozens of  interviews and a handful of  polygraphs, the Office of Inspector General still hasn’t released a report about its investigation into the incident.

There are hundreds of hard-working and professional men and women in the Houston Fire Department.  But,  as  long as questions remain unanswered, some will continue to view it as place where women aren’t fully accepted and  are subjected to a hostile work environment.

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