Original published: May 8, 2016
Women make up just over 1 per cent of Montreal's fire department.
The provincial fire academy in Laval is making a push to attract more women and minorities to firefighting careers by hosting open houses this weekend.
At an open house on Saturday, women hoping for a shot at firefighting piled into the back of a truck as firefighting students gave them a tour of their Laval campus.
One of the women who attended, Lisandre Tessier, said she was inspired by the female firefighters who have already paved the way for her.
"It's not because traditionally it's biologically a bit harder to gain upper body strength, for example for women, that it should in any way be a deterrent," Tessier said.
But women currently count for only 32 of Montreal's more than 2,400 firefighters — just over one per cent.