TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – As more women join the fire service, it’s imperative to understand the occupational risks involved for these women. And thanks to $1.5 million dollar grant from FEMA that will be possible.
The funding will help support will help support research to examine how being a firefighter affects women’s health. “There’s the fires, the smoke that we breathe in, but it’s also the exhaust from the fire trucks, the ambulances that we get exposed to on a daily basis,” said Captain Liliana Pesqueira, the Tucson Fire Department.
The study will be in partnership with the university of Arizona College of Public health, The University of Arizona cancer center and TFD. The study will include 200 firefighters in total from across the country that will take part in the study, both 100 new recruits and 100 incumbent firefighters. The study will take 3-years to conduct.
As someone who has been on the force for two decades, Captain Pesqueira said a study like this makes her feel heard in a field where the vast majority are male.
“I’m a female firefighter, that aspect of it definitely makes me feel like it’s more focused on myself, my family, and what I do,” she mentions.
She tells us this is also opens doors for the next generation to feel more welcomed making them ready to serve their community. “For the younger women coming in that are potentially going to have families and how it can affect them, and how this study can help them have a fuller life,” said Captain Pesqueira.