Biannual workshop held in King County for women interested in pursuing firefighting, EMS careers

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — The King County Fire Chiefs Association along with King County Emergency Medical Services are working to recruit more women into joining the firefighting and EMS workforce. On October 22 and 23, a two-day workshop was held in Federal Way.

More than 30 women participated in the workshop and spent the days watching demonstrations and getting hands-on firefighting training.

“There’s some women that don’t know if they want to be a medic or a firefighter, they come here and they can kind of dip their toes in it, see if it’s for them, see if it’s not,” Marika Muesegades, a firefighter with Puget Sound Fire, said. She went through this program in 2019 and was hired six months later.

“I know when I did this, I came here and was like, ‘I want this, I want to do this and just went right into it,’” she said. The workshop is held twice per year and rotates locations all around King County.

“About ten percent nationwide of firefighters are female, so one of the things we’re thinking a lot about and trying to change is reflecting the populations that we serve in this community,” Lt. Ann Hoag, of South King Fire & Rescue, said. For Danielle Jenkins, participating in this is one step closer to getting her dream job.

“We then were able to go through different evolutions and obstacle courses, to throw a ladder, to actually carry hose, to climb up a ladder and tie knots so different, actual things firefighter work on during their academy,” Jenkins said. “I am having a blast! I wish it was more than two days. This is absolutely what I want to do so I can’t wait to keep going.”