Photo Information

U.S. Marine Corps Sgts. Katrina Jimenez and Cori Barney, and Lance Cpl. Kyra Cherry, aircraft rescue and firefighting Marines with Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting unit, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, pose for a photo after volunteering during the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Girls Empowerment Camp in San Diego, California, April 18, 2021. The two-day camp was an opportunity for kids of all genders to build confidence, make new friends, and work with professional firefighters while learning some of the skills they use during their careers. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Krysten Houk)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Krysten Houk

Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Marines volunteer with San Diego Fire Department

18 Apr 2021 | Story by Lance Cpl. Krysten Houk PEO Land Systems

The SDFD hosted the two-day camp to give an opportunity to kids of all genders to build confidence, make new friends, and work with professional firefighters to learn some of the skills they use during their career. The Miramar Marines joined the camp to provide help and give a unique perspective from a female firefighter standpoint.

“The empowerment camp is important because it gives young individuals an opportunity to gain new experiences in the fire service,” said Sgt. Katrina Jimenez, an ARFF Marine with MCAS Miramar. “By meeting and working alongside those professionals in the fire service, it gives young individuals a better understanding of the work firefighters perform everyday.”

The camp consisted of a confidence course, rappelling out of a second story window, climbing a 100-foot aerial ladder, cutting into a roof prop with a chainsaw, learning ropes and knots, as well as multiple other training events.

Sgt. Cori Barney, another Miramar ARFF Marine, said she personally enjoyed instructing at the window bailout station.

“After the campers were lowered from the window I saw the confidence in them increase,” she said.

Rappelling out of a two-story window introduced tactical training and physical activity most of the campers have never encountered before.

“There are so many people that don’t have the confidence within themselves to do this kind of work,” Barney said. “This gives young people the opportunity to try it for themselves and see just how capable they are.”

As women make up only 4 percent of the firefighting community in the civilian world, this empowerment camp was set in hopes of giving young women insight into an exciting career field of firefighting.

“Even if they choose not to pursue firefighting as a career, they can say they learned so many valuable skills most people aren’t given the chance to learn in their lifetime,” concluded Barney.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar