'Girls aren't firefighters': How women are making firefighting more inclusive

  • Source: NBC News
  • Published: 09/29/2021 12:00 AM

Capt. Karen Bureker didn’t know whether she wanted to have children when she first became a firefighter paramedic nearly 20 years ago. But after getting married, Bureker and her husband decided to start a family. It was during her first pregnancy, after six years on the job, that Bureker realized just how difficult the transition from firefighter to mother would be while rising through the ranks of her male-dominated profession. “It's really a great job to be a mom, but it's a really hard job,” she said. “My kids, as they get older, are starting to understand some of the risks that we take. But they love having their mom be a firefighter.” Bureker, 44, is part of a rare sorority. Earlier this month, she became the first female fire captain at Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue near Portland, where she started her career some 19 years ago.



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