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Tulsa Fire Department hosting girls camp to introduce women to the field

Posted at 2:52 PM, Sep 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-14 19:16:45-04

TULSA -- The Tulsa Fire Department is working to make the sight of female firefighters a lot more common. 

Tulsa's first female firefighter joined the force in 1992. Today, out of 700 firefighters, only 17 are women. This month, the department is inspiring more to go into the profession by holding an all girls fire camp.

One of Tulsa's most historic fires happened on Sept. 5, 2012. Barnard elementary school was engulfed in flames.

“We saw it and it was a very kind of emotional roller coaster,” Miriam Bryant, an EMT Firefighter for TFD, said.

Firefighters rushed to the scene as three massive explosions lit up the night sky.

“I had to see my guys come out and they were injured,” Bryant said,

Eight men were sent to the hospital with burns. And those eight men were all a part of Bryant's team. 

She wears the badge and she puts on the gear. She’s fought one of the city's largest fires, and this month, she's showing other females what it takes to do what was once considered "a man's job”.

“I try to hold my own,” Bryant said. “Sometimes I can do better than [the guys], not always, but hey I am here and I am not going anywhere.”

From driving the truck and working hazmat situations, Bryant contributes to the job just like her colleagues. 

“When we are in the fire we all look the same,” she said. “We all have practically the same suit on.”

But when the gear comes off, “That's when people realize, oh my gosh, that's a girl.”

It's a noble profession Bryant wants to make more common for women, which is why she's a part of hosting an all girls camp to showcase female potential.

She said it’s a career that comes with it's challenges, but being a woman isn't one of them. 

TFD girls camp is September 30th for ages 15 and up. To register, contact Heather Perky at Hperky@cityoftulsa.org.

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