First female firefighter joins Prague’s emergency team
The emergency corps of Czechia’s Fire and Rescue Service has a new team member and for the first time ever – it’s a woman. 23-year-old Michaela Žďárská will be serving in the Prague unit responsible for the Holešovice district.
Michaela Žďárská was 20 when she found a job advert looking for volunteer firefighters in her local district of Dolní Měcholupy. “I fulfilled all of their requirements, I was 17 and physically fit,” she says. Three years on, she has now decided to join one of the country’s professional emergency teams and will be serving in Prague’s Holešovice district.
Although the country’s Fire and Rescue Service does include 969 women among its staff, none of these has so far served in the emergency units. The general director of the service, Vladimír Vlček, was cited by news site Deník.cz as saying that he hopes Ms Žďárská’s entry into the service will open doors for other women looking to work in one of the elite firefighter corps.
Žďárská herself says that she thinks female empathy could be useful, especially when working with children who she thinks respond better to a woman’s voice. She says that she found out about these things during her hardest mission yet, when she had to help put out a fire in a flat that left seven children with burn marks on their body.
Asked about whether she thinks she will be able to fit in among the male-only crowd, Žďárská says that her love of dark humour, popular among the firefighters, should help.