Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, in partnership with Portland Fire & Rescue, hosted one of two Portland Metro Fire Camps at their training center in Sherwood, Friday July 30 through Sunday, August 1. Thirty-five young women between the ages of 16 and 21 attended the camp, which was led by professional fire fighters from multiple agencies across the west coast. Camp attendees came from as far away as Seattle and Tacoma, Washington and Detroit, Michigan.
The camp’s mission is to recruit women to consider a rewarding fire service career. It is designed to instill confidence and build teamwork skills through hands-on firefighter training. The camp itinerary consisted of various stations and scenarios each day such as taking hydrants, hose practices, controlling nozzles, standpipe evolutions, rope operations, ladders, search and rescue, vehicle extrication, forcible entry, emergency medical skills, nutrition, physical fitness, and interview techniques.
By the time the camp wrapped up on Sunday, the 35 young women conquered tough challenges they may have never otherwise had an opportunity to experience. They learned that they are capable of being a firefighter.
“Our female firefighters are helping ignite change and are role models for these young women,” states TVF&R Fire Chief Deric Weiss. “This camp provides an opportunity for these young women to have direct, candid conversations with other women and learn that they can do the job – that they can do anything they want to. We do not want to miss out on talent we know is out there, due to historical inequities in the fire service. Workforce equality, diversity, and inclusion are and always will be a priority for me and the District.”
Portland Fire & Rescue will be hosting the second Metro Fire Camp Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29, 2021. To learn more about Portland Metro Fire Camp, which is held annually by both fire agencies, visit www.portlandmetrofirecamp.com.
Agencies that joined TVF&R for the first camp included Portland Fire & Rescue, Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, Hood River Fire & EMS, Albany Fire Department, Bend Fire & Rescue, Shoreline Fire Department, Vashon Island Fire & Rescue and Pacific County Fire District #1.