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El Segundo Fire Department Hosts First All-Girls Fire Camp

The El Segundo Fire Department on Saturday hosted its first-ever “Girls Empowerment Camp,” giving attendees a first-hand look at life on the fire lines.

It took one strong woman’s dream to make this event a reality.

“I have been dreaming about this for a long time and I’m so happy that the day is finally here,” said Fire Chief Deena Lee, the first female fire chief for the South Bay.

After making history in her department, she’s making history again with the city’s first girl’s empowerment camp.

“Now that I have risen to this level, I want to bring other women up,” Lee said. “So, I have a responsibility to other women to show, to be a role model.”

According to Lee, women make up less than 5% of the workforce in the fire service industry.

“What we’re finding is, once we approach girls in college, they already have their career paths, so we need to let girls know that this is a career option.”

Each girl at the camp, between age 12 and 19, gets a glimpse of what it takes to be a firefighter — from pulling the fire hose to climbing an 80-foot ladder.

“I want to learn new skills that I can teach my family,” said 12-year-old Kate Humphreys.

For the girls, seeing other female firefighters is part of the excitement.

“Oh it’s really empowering,” said 12-year-old Jalycenn Northgate. “And like seeing that other people, just like, have made it this far.”

Just like Lee, inspiring young women to follow their dreams, and sharing some words of encouragement.

“You are stronger than you think you are,” Lee said to the group. “And keep showing up and stepping up.”

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