Kirkland Firefighter Empowers Young Women at Fire Training and Leadership Camp



From July 23 to July 30, 24 young women from around the country will come together to explore a career in firefighting. They will participate in a leadership camp led by women firefighters like Margo Freeman, a 19-year veteran of the Kirkland Fire Department. Camp Blaze, a nonprofit organization developed by the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services, seeks to “empower, inspire and support strong women leaders” through a free weeklong training program located at the Washington State Fire Training Academy in North Bend. Young women ages 16 to 19 are taught skills ranging from teambuilding and leadership to live-fire response and CPR.


Campers learn from a professional staff of female firefighters and first responders who volunteer their time to teach young women the value of overcoming obstacles. On Tuesday, July 26, campers will spend the day at the Bellevue Fire Training Center located at 1838 116th Ave. NE, Bellevue, WA 98005 where the press is welcome to observe training exercises and fitness tests. (see below for photo opportunities)


Freeman, who will serve as the lead operations chief at Camp Blaze this summer, has experienced firsthand the transformation of the young women in attendance. As a former instructor, she describes the campers as first, “feeling a little tentative and homesick and unsure of what to expect.”


“Throughout the week, they engage in strenuous activities that are both physically and mentally challenging. Through these exercises, these young women not only develop critical life skills and a sense of empowerment, but also lifelong friendships” Freeman said. “By the end of the week, they never want to leave.”


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