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Strength & Stamina: Women in the Fire Department - Home
Early Years: 1883-1915
Fully Manned: 1915-1960
A Man Among Men: 1960-1975
Minority Recruitment and Women
Development of a Pre-Recruit Program
The First Woman Firefighter in Seattle
Early Discrimination
The End of the Pre-Recruit Program
Pregnancy and Disability
Equal Terms?
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Strength & Stamina: Women in the Fire Department

A Man Among Men: 1960-1975


The 1962 annual report noted that "fire-fighting has much in common with military arts" and starting in 1963 the annual report listed firefighters as part of the Combat Division. When the Public Relations Unit was added to the Department in 1964, one of their first projects was to release a profile of a firefighter: members of an "ancient profession," the "mark of a fire fighter is his devotion to his duty." The feeling coming back from putting out a fire was described as "the joy of a strong man who has conquered a worthy foe."


Public Relations was known as Public Affairs by 1969 but continued to build on the characteristics of dedication and protection of the people, and by 1969 described the firefighter as "a man among men."

The 1960s saw continued growth in training as well as fire prevention work. In 1962 prevention was described as male work: "Complete and fair enforcement of the Fire Code and applicable sections of the Building Code through a program of continuing year around fire inspection of all effected [sic] buildings and occupancies are as fundamental to our fire prevention effort as are blocking and tackling to a football team."


The training division was centralized in 1964 and provided programs to all Fire Department personnel, including apparatus drills, first aid, breathing equipment, and tower drills. When the national training standards were established in 1968 they were remarkably similar to those in the Seattle Fire Department. After a lengthy planning period, a training program was established in 1968 at Seattle Community College for an Applied Science Degree in Fire Command and Administration. It was intended primarily for those in the Department seeking promotion.

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