Rural/Metro Fire Dept. hosts Girls' Fire Camp

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Rural/Metro hosted its annual Girls' Fire Camp giving a handful of young women from across East Tennessee hands on firefighter training.

Dressed in full turnout gear it was all practice for the five young women there Tuesday.

"I like the excitement of it basically. As a firefighter you do get to work on the EMS side as well. Every day is different I guess," said Brooke Brata with Rural/Metro.

Brata is one of just three women working for Rural/Metro Fire Department. She said women make up only two percent of the fire service workforce across the country.

The three of them hosting a yearly training camp encouraging other women join them.

"I can fit up into a small space compared to one of the bigger guys or I might not be able to carry as much equipment as one of the other guys. It's kind of a give or take," Brata said.

In the group of participants was 17-year-old Anna Leming, and she is already getting a jump start on this career with Tri Community Volunteer Fire Department in Madisonville.

"I was practically born there, and my dad he's the chief right now. My Papaw was chief before him, so I don't really know anything else," she said.

She has never once questioned if she could do it.

"A lot of times it's known as a man's world, and I like being able to go out there and prove myself that I'm just as good or better," Leming said.

As they fought their way through obstacle courses simulating real life possibilities and dangers they were showing others exactly what they are capable of.

"I'm the only female at my department, but they know that I want to be a part of it, and they let me help and expect me to do just as much as them," Leming said.

Rural Metro holds the camps once a year. For more information on how to get involved email

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