• Atlanta Fire Rescue hosts academy to encourage more women to become firefighters

    By: Tyisha Fernandes

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department is looking to hire more women. 

    Right now, women only make up 4 percent of the department, so they created a program that gives young women an up-close look at what it takes to be a firefighter.

    "I think it’s a good experience. It could benefit people who don’t know what they wanna do after high school," said high school senior Jocelyn Munoz.


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    Munoz is part of the first group of young women to experience Camp Ignite. It's a program the Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department created to encourage women to consider joining.

    Munoz said she always thinks of firefighters putting out flames but after going through an obstacle course, she realizes there’s a lot more to it, both physically and mentally.

    Kewanna Fortson is still trying to figure out what she wants to do after high school graduation.

    The program opened up her eyes to the fire service and making it an option

    "I was looking forward to it being intense and that’s what we actually got today," Fortson said.

    Nationwide, there are only about 30 female fire chiefs. There’s only one active female chief who is a black woman and she's out of Decatur.

    "The point of today is to expose them, to empower them, to ignite them, let them know that the fire service is a career that they can expire and they can be successful," said Chief Toni Washington with the Decatur Fire Department.

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