For the first time in its history, Skagit County Fire District 14 in Alger has women accounting for more than a third of its 32 firefighters and staff, a marked change in a field still dominated by men.
The women take pride in that the Alger department maintains the same standards across the sexes, something they say is a trait of the fire service overall. In other words: any job he can do, she can do also.
Sarah Hill, an Alger firefighter and emergency medical transporter, has met women who have been firefighters for up to 30 years.
“I think it’s the work they’ve put in to set the standard that the work we do is no different than the man sitting next to us,” Hill said.
Michelle Young has been a firefighter in Alger for three months. For her, the seed of service was planted when she found herself in need of emergency response.