Salute Our Heroes: Women of Soldier Township Fire Department reflect on working in a male-dominated field
SOLDIER TWP., Kan. (WIBW) - It’s been about a year since Raschell Mize made the career switch to become a Soldier Township firefighter.
“I’ve been around Soldier for about 20 years, my husband is actually a firefighter here,” she recalled.
“Used to ride on calls with him all the time, we had kids and now that we’re old enough to stay home, I figured ‘why not?’”
In the process, Mize found a second family in the four other women employed by the department.
“When they say it’s a family, it really is a family we live with these people for 48 hours on some shifts depending on when we work,” explained Amy Martin-Scragg, who has also worked at Riley County Fire.
“It really is a family and to have that bond with people where you work, being a military wife all my life, not having close family, this is my family.”
A common theme the women find rewarding is the township’s motivation to break barriers.
“I was just really inspired by the people here and how much they genuinely care about the community and how hard they work,” said Katrina Hinojosa.
“It might sound kind of cheesy but actually getting to do something that makes a genuine difference in people’s lives, getting to work in a field that serves other people, it’s a nice adrenaline rush too but overall just getting to see people I know work alongside them, help our neighbors, our slogan overall neighbors helping neighbors.”
“It can be tough being in a male-dominated career field but the guys here are really awesome but I don’t think they treat me different in anyway just because I’m a female,” said Rachel Frehe.
“As long as you can come in here, do your job and do what’s expected of you they don’t care if you’re a male or female and this place is really good about that, obviously we got pout in this position for a reason we got hired for a reason, we train just as hard as everybody else, we work just as hard, we’re educated we’re taught the same things just see us as an equal, a person here to help you in your time of need.”
The ladies have one piece of advice for girls considering a career in firefighting.
”Do anything you feel like you have the drive for don’t let a field that’s male-dominated steer you away from doing something like that because you can basically do anything you want in this world,” said Jordan Sharpe.
“Places like this make it feel pretty easy to get out there and go out there and do it, now that I started doing this type of stuff I can’t really picture doing anything else.”
The fire crew also recommends for older teens to sign up for Camp Courage hosted by the Topeka Fire Department.
Find more information here.
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