Topeka Fire addresses female hiring gap with “Camp Courage”

Local News

The Topeka Fire Department is looking to recruit more female firefighters with a new camp for girls. This week, the department debuted “Camp Courage”, a free, five-day firefighting camp for high-school aged girls.

“Camp Courage” gives girls an inside look at what it takes to be a firefighter.

“When I was in high school I had no exposure to the fire department and I think this is an awesome way to connect with young people and get them kind of interested,” said Topeka firefighter Brendy Muninger.

Muninger was hired in September 2018, and she is the first female firefighter hired in 17 years at the Topeka Fire Department.

Fire Marshal Michael Martin says this is due to lack of female applicants. The department hopes that “Camp Courage” will encourage more young women to see fire service as a possible career.

Maiyah Goolsby is leaving for basic training later this summer. She’s taking part in “Camp Courage” in the hopes of learning more leadership and teamwork skills.

Goolsby says she thinks women are intimidated by firefighting.

“I think they don’t have the best confidence to think they can do it, but I feel like girls be taking over the world,” said Goolsby. “We can do anything. We can do better than men.”

“Camp Courage” runs through Friday. Martin says they hope to throw another “Camp Courage” very soon.

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