Young women are squashing gender norms and redefining what it means to be tough. The young women participating in Camp Female Firefighters in Training (FFIT) have dreams of battling blazes and saving lives.
The FFIT program teaches young women, age 16-20, the ins and outs of being a firefighter. The hands-on experience includes: wearing firefighter gear, learning about fire prevention, search and rescue as well as auto extrication – also known as the jaws of life.
The camp was founded in 2014. In its fifth year FFIT has had a total of 75 women participate and experience various hands-on training workshops. The program encourages gender diversity in fire stations across the city.
“Camp FFIT serves as an example of the Hamilton Fire Department’s continued commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce,” said David Cunliffe, fire chief of the Hamilton Fire Department.
In 2001, Hamilton hired its first two female firefighters. Pike Krpan, a Hamilton firefighter, saw the need for more gender inclusivity within the fire service and created Camp FFIT. Krpan said the camp is a powerful opportunity for women to see what amazing heights they are capable of reaching with determination and support. Today the Hamilton Fire department employs 71 women across various managerial and frontline positions.
The camp is modeled after similar programs ran across the province. It is supported by Fire Service Women Ontario and Humber College’s School of Social and Community Services.
There are 20 spots available in the camp. Applicants must apply by September 13th. Successful candidates will have to complete a formal registration form and pay a $50 fee.
For more information visit the official city website.