July 11th, 2017 by Duarte Dispatch
Wonder Women are everywhere; LA County Board Members proved that with the aid of a pop culture symbol
Recently, Supervisor Janice Hahn donned a Wonder Woman headband while pressing Los Angeles County Fire Chief Osby on efforts to recruit and retain women firefighters and update fire stations to accommodate both men and women. Of LA County’s 2,866 firefighters, only 45 are women. The majority of fire stations in LA County cannot accommodate women firefighters. The three other women of the board, Supervisors Kuehl, Solis and Barger, also joined Hahn in wearing the headbands while discussing the issue with the fire chief.
The discussion came up as the board considered Supervisor Hahn’s motion to remodel the Marina Del Rey Fire Station to accommodate both male and female firefighters in locker rooms, dormitories, and restroom facilities. While the Supervisor noted that the passage of this motion was a positive improvement, much more work remains.
“Remodeling our fire stations to accommodate both men and women is progress, but it is an empty gesture if we do not actually hire women as firefighters to staff those stations,” said Supervisor Hahn. “Right now of our 2,866 LA County Fire Fighters, only 45 are women. A majority of fire stations cannot even accommodate women. We can and we must do better, and I think my fellow Wonder Women on the board agree with me,” she said, gesturing to her colleagues also wearing headbands.
Supervisor Hahn questioned Chief Osby, who provided an update on the fire department’s ongoing efforts to better recruit and retain women. While the department reported modest progress, Supervisor Hahn insisted that more could be done.