TUCSON, Ariz. — 37 girls got the chance to work alongside southern Arizona's first responders today. This was a part of the Girls Scouts' Catching Fury event in the hopes to bring more women into the field.
"It's not just about Girl Scout cookies. It's not just about making friends - though it is a big part of it. But its about learning who you are and finding your self confidence when you enter the world as an adult," said girl scout Katherine Goehring.
12-year-old Goehring was in this group of young girls mentored by women in Catching Fury. The day-long event hosted by women in public safety fields is centered around empowerment. Nationwide 30-percent of EMTs, 13-percent of law enforcement and only 3.5-percent of fire professionals are women. Catching Fury hopes to change those statistics.
"There's not very many girls that see other woman that are in the firefighting business or law enforcement. Law enforcement has a little bit higher percentage that fire, but we have a long ways to go just as public safety entities trying to get women into our fields," said Laura Baker, Assistant Chief of the Tucson Fire Department.
Catching Fury is a one-day breakdown of Camp Fury, a five-day camp for teenage girls during the summer. 17-year-old Loraya Rocha wants to work for the FBI, and has attended Camp Fury for the past four years.
"Honestly, its like one of the best things I've ever done. It's what I look forward to every single summer. Because its so empowering to see women like Chief Baker and Chief Horvath do such amazing things that aren't really normal for girls,” said Rocha.
The adventure program offered a full day of of experiences like learning how to operate a fire hose, dusting for fingerprints, rappelling down buildings, and climbing a firetruck ladder.
"I just think it's a wonderful partnership between all different agencies in town. Fire agencies, all different forms of law enforcement agencies, state, federal, local - to bring together a place where we can show girls that our community is investing in them,” said Debbie Rich, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona.