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In a field where men predominate, women in the Carmel Fire Department excellent



Carmel, Indiana – The Carmel Fire Department’s female firefighters are breaking down boundaries and proving that women can do the job, too, in a field that is dominated by men. Women’s History Month is coming to an end.

There are only three women in the whole Carmel Fire Department, including Stephanie Yoder. She claims that every day is unique but that she enjoys her work and has always admired strong women.

“I wanted to become a firefighter after watching my aunt. She is a firefighter over at Pike (Township),” Yoder said. “I grew up watching her manage this really awesome career and raise a family and be an absolute rockstar with it.”

Yoder claims she has dealt with locals who have questioned her capacity to serve as a fireman.

“We get that a lot. I really hope that in some point in time, maybe in my career, I will see that not become such a surprise. People look and they say, ‘Well, what do we call you? You’re not a fireman.’ And I said, ‘Well, how about just “firefighter”?’ It doesn’t have to be specific and I don’t want people to be surprised that there are women in our career field.”

Arielle Morgan, a mother of two, has joined Yoder on the fire department.

“I got hired on Carmel and I was going through recruit class. I was still pumping; I was still breastfeeding my daughter,” Morgan. said “Just being on the safe side, we went through a three-day period where I wouldn’t keep any of my milk.”

She took that action since she wasn’t sure what toxins she would run into when putting out fires.

Renee Butts completes the group of three women. As she climbed the corporate ladder, she transitioned from operating fire vehicles to working as an engineer and paramedic to her current position, which is more administrative.

Butts predict that more women will eventually enter this predominately male sector.

“I do think it’s changing. When I first got hired, there was one female on, and then Stephanie and Arielle have come along, and they’re amazing! My kids hate it when I say this, but they are the bomb dot com! They’re strong and they’re empowered,” Butts said. “They’re not throwing the ‘girl card’. They’ve earned their spots.”

Yoder chimed in, “Obviously, being in a male-dominated industry, you can’t have feelings that are hurt super easily, but operate in a house with a bunch of brothers.”

According to Morgan, women who are interested in joining the fire service should visit them and speak with them.

“Most fire departments do have females, there’s just not that many at this time. If you’re interested, come on out,” Morgan said. “We need more girls. If I can do it, you can do it!”