Over the summer KX news reported about a local fire department looking to add more diversity to its team.
More specifically, they encouraged more females to join, and four months later, two women are new to the Minot Fire Department.
“I feel incredibly privileged to be here,” said firefighter Hannah Hamilton.
‘”It’s the fact that you get to help people everyday it’s kind of what steered me over here,” said firefighter JayDee Bach.
Now Bach and Hamilton are a part of the Minot Fire department’s history, as they are two of three females in the department since the 90’s,
“and then also being a female on top of that and being welcomed into the department its just been a great privilege,” said Hamilton.
Both Hamilton and Bach know that many women might feel intimidated at becoming a firefighter because of the physical demands of the job, but they say it’s something anyone can get past.
“If you have the motivation and you want to do it then to have grit and just finish through I think is going to be a big help,” said Bach.
Their training took weeks and it involved running up and down stairs, carrying equipment and making sure they stay in shape.
“It started with getting a 50 pound vest and doing a lot of cardio work,” said Hamilton.
But Hamilton says it goes well beyond physical conditioning.
“It’s not just having this mind set of oh I have to look a certain way, it’s being able to say here are my strengths, here is what the demand is for the job and how can meet that,” said Hamilton.
A typical shift starts off with a briefing.
“And then we’ll start off with truck checks to make sure everything in the truck is working and on there,” said Bach.
Then they do some sort of training to stay fresh with knowledge, all while being on call for whatever might happen.
“You show up to work and you don’t know what you’re going to get into you don’t know what you’re going to do,” said Bach.
That’s what keeps them determined to work hard, and hoping more women will join too.