More female firefighters are popping up. The latest numbers from the National Fire Protection Association show there are about 10,000 paid female firefighters across the nation.
That may not seem like a lot, but more than 30 years ago we had less than 2,000. The city of Murray is building its new station in a way that keeps this growing force in mind. Fire Chief Eric Pologruto said the third fire station built on the north side of Murray will have separate sleeping quarters for women.
“Over the past 30 years, there's been a significant increase of female firefighters and that trend is continuing to grow,” Pologruto said.
He said they don't have any female applicants right now, but is always looking to diversify their workforce to reflect the community. He also said they built their station in a way that it's able to expand with Murray's growing population.
“That was another big thing that went into the design of this fire station. Not only looking forward to filling our needs of today, but looking 20, 30, 35 years down the road. What Murray is going to need at that point,” Pologruto said.
Pologruto said the main focus for a new station is the community's safety by better making the fire department's four minute response goal time.
“In the end, the station was built for better fire service, better response time to our northern residential and commercial fire property owners,” Pologruto said.
Pologruto said next week contractors plan on handing the station over to the city, which will put the final touches on it. The city hopes to open it by the end of June.
Several other area fire departments have women firefighters. The Reidland-Farley Volunteer Fire Department has had a female firefighter for more than 12 years.
That firefighter, Sabrina Steger, started a Facebook group, Women Firefighters of Western Kentucky, to find more women joining the force. She said women make great firefighters.
“Women can do any job a man can do. Sometimes we have to adapt to how we do it since we have less upper body strength, but with some training and some practice we can learn to make the tools work for us," Steger said.
The Paducah Fire Department, Carbondale Fire Department, and the Cape Girardeau Fire Department each have two female firefighters.
100 Television Lane
Paducah, KY 42003