Fresno Fire Department holds second annual Girls Empowerment Camp

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Fresno Fire Department is hoping to inspire more young women into becoming firefighters. On Saturday, the department held its second annual Girls Empowerment Camp, a hands-on training to expose teenage girls to the fire service.

“It’s been pretty great so far,” said 16-year-old Gabrielle Garcia, whose father is a Captain at Fresno Fire. 

She was one of 70 teenage girls who participated in the day-long program and practiced drills like chainsaw operations, CPR, extrication techniques, using the hose lines, and climbing up a 105-foot aerial ladder. 

“I just did like a box challenge where you put on the top gear, and then you go through the box. I did it without seeing. I had these goggles on with duct tape, it was pretty cool,” Garcia shared. 

“It’s a male-dominated profession and that’s why chief Donis wanted to start this Girls Empowerment Camp, to get more females exposed and get inspired that they can do this kind of job,” said Captain Adriane Blankenship.

There are currently only nine female firefighters in the department. Fresno Fire employs more than 300 firefighters.

Captain Blankenship said there are many opportunities with this career path, “whether it’s a specialty team, being an investigator, being in training.”

She’s now sharing why she got involved in hopes of showing more women they can be firefighters too.

“I wanted to help people, I wanted to be part of a community and it’s been a great department to work for. I’ve been here over 27 years and I’ve loved every minute of it.”

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