Women Firefighters Honored for Their Service to Norfolk Citizens
Recognizing the women of Norfolk Fire-Rescue during Women’s History Month
NORFOLK, VA – Some women blaze a trail and others put blazes out while creating a path for future generations. 18 female firefighters will receive recognition during a special Women Trailblazers ceremony on Friday, March 13 at 2 p.m. at the Norfolk Fire-Rescue Training Center, 7120 Granby Street, Norfolk.
While often perceived as a male profession, women have been part of Norfolk Fire-Rescue since 1979. While it was officially the Norfolk Fire Department (NFD) back then, the first female to complete the required training was Pamela Ells, who is still a resident of Hampton Roads today.
Within the next three years, four more females entered the fire service for Norfolk. These women faced many challenges but continued to pave the way for those who follow decades later.
In 1991, when NFD and Paramedical Rescue Service (PRS) merged, 12 more females entered the fire service. Those who merged to become a part of the newly named Norfolk Fire and Paramedical Services (NFPS) brought years of EMS training with them, dating as far back to 1979.
Another notable female to be recognized is Marcia Hawkins, who entered the fire service in 1982. After 26 years of service, she retired as an Assistant Fire Chief, the highest rank a female has held in the department.
While all these women have since retired from NFR, many remain in the Hampton Roads area.
Currently, there are 40 females employed with NFR, of which one is a member of the Special Ops Technical Rescue team, two are Lieutenants, three are Captains and one is a Battalion Chief.