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Women in Fire


Firefighting has long been a male dominated field, and even today the fire service is well over 90% male. However, more and more women are entering the fire service every day and finding a rewarding career with incredible benefits. Women first started in the fire service in the early 1900s “bucket brigades,” and all-female fire companies were not uncommon during WWI and WWII when the majority of young men in the US had been drafted into war. Meridian Fire Department is committed to creating a workforce that represents the community it serves.

Firefighting is a physically and mentally challenging career but one that is attainable for anyone willing to do the work and serve their community. Here, you can find more information about the Meridian Fire Department, our community, our members, resources and guides to employment, and the amazing career that awaits you. If you would like to reach out to a female firefighter at the department, please use our contact form below.

9% of U.S. firefighters are women

5% of all career firefighters are women

11% of the volunteer fire service are women

12% of federal wildland firefighters are women

The city of Meridian offers many benefits including paid time off, PERSI retirement, and city-covered health insurance. 

  • Education Assistance Program through the City. $3,000 maximum reimbursement per accounting fiscal year.
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • 12 weeks paid maternity/adoption leave.
  • City paid health, vision and dental insurance: International Association of Firefighters Health Trust
  • PERSI Retirement Benefits with city contribution and option 401K and 457. 12.28% contributed by city.
  • Optional death and disability and life insurance policy
  • Much more! 

To help in the success of our firefighters, the Meridian Fire Department has many programs and services in place:

  • Members are a part of Meridian Professional Firefighters Local 4627 with a collective labor agreement.
  • Incentive pay:
    • Longevity
    • Step Raise (every year)
    • Paramedic Pay
    • Field Training Officer
    • Working Out of Class
    • Education Pay
  • Access to department primary physician for self and family needs. Background/experience serving emergency service personnel.
  • Department paid physical every other year.
  • Peer Support Team
    • Fire Strong Mental Health Application
    • Chaplain
  • Fully equipped physical fitness facilities at each station.
  • Meridian Fire Fit program. Free daily planned workouts for firefighters.
  • External Travel/Training opportunities and support.
  • Internal committee group involvement.
  • Shift Work: 48/96 schedule.
  • In-house fire academy conducted at Station 1 and our Public Safety Training Center.

Firefighting is a physically intensive career. Firefighters, just like law enforcement officers and military personnel, are considered “occupational athletes.” Firefighters are regularly expected to lift 50-100 lbs; push, pull, drag, and carry heavy and uneven weights, lift heavy objects overhead, climb stairs and complete physically difficult tasks in 50 lbs of gear, and move through small spaces. There are many different ways to train to be a firefighter, and there is no one “right way” as every individual is different. Visit the helpful links tab for additional resources. 

Yes! The City of Meridian offers 12 weeks of paid maternity/adoption leave. 

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