Commission to Recruit Women for the Fire Service Opens Doors for Opportunity - 2007

For over 25 years, the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee has proudly committed itself to provide and support equal opportunity programs within the fire service. Recruiting and retaining qualified and motivated firefighter candidates is a top priority of the CFFJAC to create a more diverse fire service in efforts to reflect the communities in which they serve.

Building on to this objective, CFFJAC Chair Dan Terry created the Commission to Recruit Women for the Fire Service. Comprised of several high-ranking women firefighters from throughout California, its mission is to boost interest and to educate high school and college aged women about the firefighting profession and all the opportunities that are available within this rewarding career.

“Growing up, I wanted to do many things,” said Contra Costa Fire Captain Lisa Beaty, who is a member and co-chair the CFFJAC Women’s Commission. “Becoming a firefighter wasn’t one of them. It wasn’t because I thought it was a bad profession… I just didn’t think it was an option for me.”

The CFFJAC Women’s Commission wants to change that.

“I look forward to a time when a generation of young women can say, ‘I want to be a firefighter’… and I want to do it because my grandmother, or my mother or my aunt was one,” Beaty said.

This year, the Commission hit the ground running by preparing for a series of women-related fire service events, workshops and recruitment fairs. From April 25th – 28th, the “Women in the Fire Service” conference, held in Oakland, will provide information and education on relevant and important issues within the fire service. The CFFJAC and the Women’s Commission will be participating in this important event by hosting a workshop entitled, “Preparing for Outreach Success”.

During the Women in the Fire Services conference, the CFFJAC’s Candidate Physical Ability Testing (CPAT) center in Dublin will also host a “Train the Trainer” workshop on April 25th to provide an overview of the components of the CPAT test and will offer suggestions for developing a pre-test training program for your fire department.

In addition, the CFFJAC and the Women’s Commission will be hosting two Firefighter Recruitment Fairs: May 12th in Orange and May 19th in Dublin. Both events are geared towards teaching and empowering the young women of tomorrow who might be interested in beginning a career in the fire service.

“We want to teach women that they can do this,” said Davis Fire Captain Judy Cutaia. “If they have the drive, determination and believe in themselves, nothing should stand in their way.”