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Honoring Women in the Fire service
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By Deputy Chief Chip Nanko
March 11, 2022

'Beginning in the early 20th century, women who wanted to volunteer as firefighters were sometimes organized into separate women’s brigades. Silver Spring, Maryland, and Los Angeles, California, each had their own women’s volunteer fire companies in the 1910s, and King County in California and Woodbine in Texas developed their own all-women fire companies in the 1960s.
Many women entered the workforce while men were fought during World War II, and women also joined volunteer fire service to replace the missing men. In Illinois, there were two all-women military fire departments during the war.

With the advent of the women’s lib movement in the 1960s and 70s, it became more common for women to join the regular volunteer fire departments and work together with male firefighters. By the end of the 1970s, all-women brigades were no longer used'.


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