Saskatoon Police and Fire came together Saturday, hoping to inspire women to work in emergency services.
The two services hosted Explore YXE, allowing participants to see what police officers and firefighters do on a daily basis.
“It’s kind of planting that seed for some of our younger women who are here that are actually in high school,” explained Sergeant Ashley Mcleod with the Saskatoon Police. “I’ve talked to quite a few today and they’re definitely interested, so it’s kind of gearing them towards what they’re going to do in post-secondary as well.”
Around 100 participants from high school and post-secondary took part in the event which included demonstrations and hands on experience with the professionals.
According to police, only 24 per cent of frontline officers in Saskatoon are female. In the fire department, that number is even smaller, with only six per cent of women represented.
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Both services said they would love to see those numbers increase to reflect the community in which they serve.
“A lot of participants aren’t even aware of what they’re capable of and they aren’t aware of what they might enjoy doing, so it’s really important that they have this opportunity to try,” said firefighter Jacquelyn Lishchynsky.
Lishcynsky said events like this can open up possibilities for women in what is seen as a male dominated profession.
For Mcleod, she said having these women look up to them as heroes and hearing their questions makes them reflect on what got them into the industry in the first place.
“It just kind of takes you back to those first days when policing was so fresh and fire was so fresh and it just re-sparks that love for what we do,” Mcleod said.
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