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Four women (three of them, women of color) were among the 286 graduates of the FDNY Fire Academy Tuesday, boosting the number of female firefighters in the department to the highest level in 32 years! Congratulations are in order for C
This is such a proud moment for women because firefighters are often seen as macho men. FDNY boasts 10,500 firefighters and while these four women (especially the three women of color) represent a special time for the FDNY, it’s obvious there’s room for more women in this boy’s club.
FDNY now has 41 female firefighters, which is the exact number they had in 1982 when it was court ordered for the nation’s largest fire department to start accepting women. “It’s a big day for us,” said Sarinya Srisakul, president of the United Women Firefighters.
Graduate Antoinette Proctor (pictured above), 33, a former Marine, said the keys to becoming a firefighter include guts and determination. “The whole thing was hard,” Proctor admitted.
“There are no rational explanations for the low number of women on the department other than discrimination.We have a chance now to really start a new chapter in the history of the FDNY,” Berkman said. “It’s a benefit to the fire department to have a diverse workforce.” retired fire captain, Brenda Berkman said.