It’s a change to just half of a word, but the newly christened firefighters of one Maryland county, who happen to be women, say it makes all the difference.
The Howard County Council this week passed a bill that changes references to “firemen” to “firefighters” in the county’s code, a vote that followed a name change by the local volunteer fire agency.
“One thing that I’m excited about is the changing of the Howard County Volunteer Firemen’s Association to the Howard County Volunteer Firefighters Association,” said John Butler the county’s fire department chief.
“I’ve never met a young lady who wanted to grow up to be a fireman.”
Assistant Chief Christine Uhlhorn has been a member of the department for nearly three decades. She said recruiting women has long been a challenge, and this shift will help girls envision themselves as firefighters.