PAVING NEW ROADS: More woman joining the male-dominated field of firefighters

- Looking at the statistics, firefighting is a field that is dominated by men, as nationally, women only make up about an average of 3.5 percent of firefighters. Despite the figures, there are women who are paving the way for more women to become firefighters.

Besides courage, drive, and tenacity, it also takes courage and strength to become a firefighter, and some argue that women, with their physique and mentality, don't quite have what it takes to be a firefighter. Some women, however, are working hard to prove those people wrong.

"You have to be tough, you have to have thick skin, you have to be able to keep up with the boys," said Morgan Dresser. "They're always gonna have their preconceived notions, but we're doing it."

These women are going down this, without any favors.

"You need to be carrying your own weight," said Adrienne Berman. "They expect you to hold your own, do what the men are doing."

Passing the test, for at least some women, require some adapting.

"Being a female, you just have to find different ways to carry an ax, swing an ax, pull a hose," said Berman.

Even after passing the test, however, women may face the stigma attached to their strengths.

"I was on a truck prior to the truck I'm on now, there were three women on a truck, when we got off we definitely got looks," recounted Berman.

And there's a challenge many can't fathom: that of being a woman firefighter, in addition to being a wife and mother.

"I thought, 'how am I ever gonna have a family and be a firefighter'," Berman. Delivering the news of a pregnancy to a chief is something male firefighters will not have to experience. Berman said she knew her co-workers would understand and support her. She gave birth in March, and had to face another challenge: coming back to work.

"I never imagined that I would become a wife and mother of two when I was testing," said Berman. "I just thought all I wanna do is to be a firefighter."

Berman said she is, like many other women, shattering stereotypes and taking on challenges, all to prove she can meet all of the demands.

"You can. If you want it, you can," said Berman.

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