FDNY and Women’s Representation

Of the 10,000 firefighters in New York City, only 28 of them are female. That’s an astonishingly small number, especially considering that the percentage of the NYPD that’s female is 18 percent, the female percentage of military personnel currently serving in active duty is 14.6 percent, and that in 1982, the first year that women were allowed into the Fire Department of New York, there were almost twice as many of them as there are today. In observation of the 30th anniversary of women in the FDNY, a panel of advocates, media members, and firefighters recently convened in New York to reflect on the struggles women in the FDNY have historically faced, as well as to contemplate exactly why women remain such a spare presence in the New York City fire service.