FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2022
CFD to host its first-ever Girls’ Fire & Rescue Camp
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, the Charlottesville Fire Department will host its first Girls’ Fire & Rescue Camp in its 166-year history, to encourage women to seek career opportunities in the fire/EMS services profession. The four-day camp begins on Tuesday, July 26, and ends Friday, July 29, 2022.
Captain Blakey, Deputy Chief Carpenter, Battalion Chief Graybill, Captain Butler, Captain Weidinger, FF Fuller, FF Dooms, FF Estela, and Flora Kelly-Bertsche (City of Charlottesville Human Resources), members of the department’s Recruitment and Retention Workgroup, discussed how to explore opportunities for a more diverse engagement to address the needs of the department.
Captain Lance Blakey, the Neighborhood Captain of the 10th & Page Neighborhood, reached out to a community organization (City of Promise) to discuss ways the youth could become more involved and aware of the career opportunities within the Charlottesville Fire Department. The information was reported to the Fire Chief. Chief Smith suggested the concept of a Girls’ Fire Camp become a reality as it provides opportunities to engage females within the community and aligns with the department’s Strategic Plan.
In December 2020, when Dr. Hezedean Smith joined the department as the City’s first black Fire Chief, only three (3) females were in the department. Since then, the Fire Department has hired nine (9) female firefighters, totaling ten firefighters currently employed, representing 15% of the firefighter rank workforce.
The goal of this camp is to encourage females to seek career opportunities in the Charlottesville Fire Department. During the four (4) day camp, they will have the chance to learn firefighting and emergency medical services skills and consider joining to help serve their community.
Captain Lance Blakey
Charlottesville Fire Department