Female firefighters debunking stereotypes

These firefighters are paving the way for the next generation of first responders.

PHOENIX - It's a physically demanding job, and for that reason some people immediately rule women out for the position.

"When people think firefighter, they usually think fireman," says Cpt. Reda Riddle-Bigler.

In 16 years with the department, Riddle-Bigler has seen many things change in women's favor.

"There's unisex bathrooms and separate dorm rooms," she said, "and when I first got on the job we still had community dorm rooms."

There's good reason for this as the department is learning some calls need a woman's touch.

"Sometimes they would rather talk to me," said first-year firefighter Jordan Ewan. "It makes out calls go smoother and makes them more comfortable."

"There's been multiple calls where I felt like the customer was more comfortable talking to a female," said Mackenzie Tardiff.

If you would like more information on how you can sign up to be a firefighter, visit the Phoenix Fire Department's website.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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