New Hampshire Teens Get Taste of Firefighting

CONCORD, N.H. --

For the first time in the state, young women are taking part in a firefighting camp at the Fire Academy in Concord.

The camp is one of a few across the country, and it's a chance for the campers to see if a career in firefighting is for them. Fourteen young women ages 16 to 20 from four New England states are taking part in the camp.

"I've gotten to know a lot of girls who are interested in the same field, and I got to see all the opportunities that I'll be able to have later on," said camper Pam Frietas, of Cape Cod.

The weeklong program is called Camp Fully Involved, and officials said it covers just about everything a professional firefighter will run into in the field.

"This gives them an opportunity to come in and try all these things that we do on a regular basis and see if this is the job for them, because there's quite a lot of training involved in getting into the fire service," instructor and firefighter Jess Wyman said.

Tuesday's lesson was on trash bin fires. The women learned from volunteer instructors the proper way to tackle the flames.

The camp may be able to open some doors, but firefighting is still a field dominated by men. About 10 percent of all firefighters in New Hampshire are women. Camper Nicole Kent's father is a firefighter, and she said those numbers don't bother her a bit.

"I'm kind of a tomboy, so it doesn't really matter to me. I can do whatever," she said. "I'll fight to get into the firefighter business, and it's something I'm passionate about and something a lot of other girls are passionate about, too."

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