Women in the SBCFD

Women in the Santa Barbara County Fire Department

For 200 years, women have been firefighters, starting in New York in 1815 with a “Bucket Brigade” and continuing in various roles until March 1974, when the first woman career firefighter in the world was hired in Virginia.

Today, more than 6,700 women are career firefighters in the United States, with more than 35,000 women serving as volunteer and paid-call firefighters. Throughout the U.S., women are serving in all levels of the fire service, including more than 28 as their top level chief.

Women perform at virtually all levels in the department and are trained in a variety of skills including firefighting, paramedic, water rescue, apparatus operator, inspector, company officer, hazardous materials, urban search and rescue, engineer, confined space rescue, wildland firefighting, and more.

Are you considering a career in the fire service?

“Answering the call since 1926,” the Santa Barbara County Fire Department is large enough geographically to be diverse and provide challenging opportunities professionally, but small enough for everyone to know each other personally.

The call to be a firefighter requires strength, both mental and physical, dedication, determination, talent, and drive.

To find out more about the history of women in the Fire Service, click here.

Click here to track the history of women firefighters, from 1818 until today, and learn more about the pioneers of the profession.