Women firefighters make up only a third of one percent of the FDNY, ten times less than the national average. The United Women Firefighters offer twice-weekly free trainings to prospective recruits at the New York Sports Club on Wall Street. The Chief's Sarah Dorsey was there to check out a training run by former Marine Thompson Plyler.
Plyler puts them through a rigorous set of exercises designed to mimic conditions at the Fire Academy. They wear 50-pound weight vests, push 180-pound sleds and do push-up sets that feel unending.
It's tough to get this level of training on your own. For one thing, there's no one yelling at you. The challenge is not just to get physically strong but mentally tough. They'll need it where they're going.
Candidates say that as tough as the workout was, they'll be back for more. And so will the United Women Firefighters!