More Than 100 Women Participate in Women on Fire


The biggest challenge for any woman dreaming of becoming a first responder is the physical requirements.

That's according to Women on Fire Organizer Donna Desantis, who says the event aims to get more women into, what are historically, male jobs.

The second annual event was held in Tecumseh over the weekend at Fire Station 2 on Walker Rd.

More than 100 young women got a taste of physical testing and the chance to ask questions of women already working as firefighters, paramedics, police, border officers and in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Desantis tells AM800 News the event is really one of a kind.

"We had people from as far away as Brampton, Sarnia, London, to do along with this area as well. They say there is no other opportunity to actually try this stuff and we find that these physical tests are unique," she says. "For police, for fire, all of the organizations, if you haven't tried it once, you don't really know how to muscle through it."

Desantis says the tests might vary from job to job, but the physical requirements are always a constant.

"They had a really great physical work out and any department in Windsor-Essex that they go apply to, they're going to run into these very similar testing components," says Desantis. "They got a really great example of what exactly will be on those tests."

More than 40 first responders from every field helped out over the weekend, many of which were men.

Desantis says it means a lot that their male counterparts support the goal to have more women out helping the community.

"There are not enough women to put it on. We can organize it and get it ready, but we need some help and that's what it is, it's not just women working it, it's us working with our counterparts," she says. "We all came together today."

The volunteer firefighter with Tecumseh fire hopes to see every woman who participated out helping the community in the coming years.