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Teenage girls put on their firefighting gear as Summer Heat Academy kicks off

Teenage Girls put on their Firefighting Gear

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Just in time for the hot temperatures we're feeling in southern Colorado, the Summer Heat Academy kicked off this week.

The young ladies are enjoying their last days of summer in full firefighting gear.

In the hot sun they're learning teamwork, leadership, how to fight fires and how to use life-saving equipment.

"Growing up as a firefighter's daughter, you hear the stories but you don't experience how much they carry. So being in this camp, I experience the gear he has to wear, the tons of weight, on top of saving people and having to carry them out," said Monica Messersmith, a camper at the fire station.   

"The girls will learn how to learn team work and communication to successful rescue a pretend patient out of the tower. How many times do you get a chance to see 15,16 year old girls to do that? It's not even on their radar," said Rachael Staebell, a firefighter and camp leader.

Staebell said, nationally only about 2 percent of firefighters are women.

"In society a lot of time women are told we can't do things, because we have smaller framers and we don't have as many that muscles men have. This camp is very encouraging towards women. Telling us we can do many things men can do," said Messersmith.

Colorado Springs is above that national average; with 9 percent female firefighters.

"It's nice to have young girls realize there's a role out there they can fulfill that they may not have thought of. Firefighting is a non-traditional role for most women," said Staebell.

Some of the young ladies say, although they may be outnumbered, firefighting is their future.

The girls are 14 -19 years old. They will graduate from camp on Friday.

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