Female firefighters learn

Women interested in a firefighting career got a hands-on glimpse into what that would be like in Vancouver this week. 

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services and the Justice Institute of British Columbia held their first ever workshop geared towards women. 

"Firefighting is always something I thought about it. But I feel like you won't know until you try it," said Madeline Kang, one of the participants. 

Currently, 3.5 per cent of firefighters in Vancouver are female. The national average is four per cent, CTV News reports. 

Michelle Hart was another participant in the workshop, and said she has always aspired to be a firefighter. 

"I wanted to get back into this environment," she said. "I love the emergency services; I love the teamwork of it, the excitement and the unknown."

Roughly two dozen women attended the workshop, participating in drills and learning to use the jaws of life. 

"It was harder than I thought. It was just holding a hose and spraying water and it was more challenging than I thought it would be, so that was eye-opening," Hart said.

Fire officials said the workshop was meant to simulate real training, to give women the opportunity to experience what it's really like. Carol Messenger, captain of recruitment and outreach, said there will me more workshops in the future. 

"This is a great way for us to engage with our community members, women in particular, where we can expose them to all the different facets of the career in the fire service," Messenger said. 

-With files from CTV Vancouver

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