Video: Berkeley Fire launches Ignite Academy to boost female recruits

BFD invited 28 female college athletes to the Cedar Street station over the weekend in an effort to attract more women to the fire service.

Over the weekend, the Berkeley Fire Department invited 28 local female college athletes to the Cedar Street station in northwest Berkeley for a chance to don 75-pound uniforms, hoist four-story ladders, squirt giant hoses and practice their chainsaw skills. The event, dubbed Ignite Academy, was an effort to attract more women to a profession where they’ve historically been underrepresented. Athletes, organizers hoped, would be a natural fit for a job so physically demanding.