By the time 15-year-old Felicia Perron is ready to apply for the Ottawa Fire Service, female fire fighters likely won’t be such a novelty.

As things stand, the profession is almost completely dominated by men — but the few women whohave joined the ranks are working to even out those numbers.

This week, Perron and 23 other young women are taking part in a Camp FITT (Female Firefighters in Training) in order to learn first-hand about the physical fitness, teamwork and work ethic it takes to be firefighter.

“It’s really exciting. Most people don’t get the opportunity to do this,” said Perron.

“To many people, a fire is the worst day of their lives. To firefighters it’s just another day,”
Miranda Moir, 19, said she is more nervous about climbing five storeys to the top of the rescue ladder than fighting fires.

Moir said the camp made her realize that she will have to train hard to pass the physical testing.

The job does require a high level of fitness, said Ottawa fire Chief John deHooge, but women are capable of meeting that standard.