Lexington firefighters host fire camp for girls

Lexington firefighters hosted the fourth annual Brenda Cowan Fire Camp on Wednesday. The camp was open to girls, ages 16 – 25, and focused on firefighting, EMS, and rescue skills.

“Historically, the fire service has not done a great job of marketing a career in firefighting to girls,” said Lexington Fire Chief Jason Wells. “This camp is our way of bridging that gap and letting girls know they can pursue any career they want, including firefighting.”

Twenty-five girls are signed up to participate in the camp, designed to introduce them to a hands-on experience with the fire service, emphasizing sisterhood and empowerment. The day started with a meet and greet where the female campers got to know one another and asked questions about the unique challenges facing women pursuing a career in this male-dominated profession. Campers were also given the opportunity to advance hose lines, climb ladders, repel from ropes, and learn CPR and bleeding control basics.  Wells reported the LFD has an authorized strength of 620, of which only 27 are female. 

This free camp was named after fallen Lexington Fire Lieutenant Brenda Cowan, who was shot and killed in 2004 responding to an EMS call that turned out to be the scene of domestic violence. “Brenda was a role model for all, but especially young girls,” said Recruiting Battalion Chief Jordan Saas. “Naming this camp after Brenda was a fitting way to honor her memory and legacy.”