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Special training session held for female firefighters in Erie County

Instructors say that these trainings are especially important because for a lot of these women growing up, they never got opportunities like this.

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — The Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services hosted a women-only firefighter training Thursday evening. 

The training is designed to help build confidence and character through hands-on training. There were 26 women in Thursday's training session, and they were all local firefighters, and the instructors are veterans in the industry.

Through this training, participants are taught techniques such as search and rescue, skills for live fire conditions, and various survival skills. 

Instructors say that these trainings are especially important because for a lot of these women growing up, they never got opportunities like this.

"Because we do not get this opportunity growing up and going through the fire service, we did not have that gear hit, let alone know other females who were doing what we were doing," said county fire instructor Jess Strom.

"So we felt like this was a good opportunity for us to get together and trade techniques and mentor each other, because a lot of us did not get that growing up."

There will be a second training session at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. All women who participate must be interior qualified firefighters.

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