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Latest News: St. Florian’s Brigade - First Affiliate of iWomen in the Nation

Columbia, MD- Members of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) announced today the creation of the St. Florian’s Brigade.  The St. Florian’s Brigade is focused on supporting and facilitating the participation of women in fire and emergency services.  Although women in the fire and emergency services are the centerpiece of the Brigade, membership is open to all members of the department. 

“I fully support, and plan to meet, and confer with the Brigade,” said Fire Chief John S. Butler.  “I am tremendously proud of the grassroots effort to ensure that career, volunteers, and civilian members have a forum to express shared interests and common goals.”

St. Florian’s Brigade is the first local affiliate of iWomen (International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services) in the nation.  St. Florian’s grew from a special interest group in the Department known as the Women’s Issues Committee that was started in 1992.  The committee worked with the department administration to implement policy changes in uniform and protective gear sizing for women, maternity and paternity leave, lactation accommodation, station bathroom design, and personnel issues.

 “The benefits this committee offers will improve the welfare of our employees, volunteers and our community,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman.  “Howard County leads once again with its support for the nation’s first local affiliate of the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services.”

St. Florian’s is focused on supporting our members through educational opportunities – conferences and networking, continuing to work with the department regarding policy changes and implementation, being a local and National advocate for women in fire and emergency services and supporting our members as they strive to achieve their personal fire service goals.

"This group is the first of its kind in the entire country” said President Christine Uhlhorn and Vice President Amy Breznak of St. Florian’s Brigade.  “We, as the executive leadership, couldn't be more proud or ready to help our members to achieve everything they aim for, along with sharing the message of women in fire and rescue services with future generations."

St. Florian’s will be involved in the community through adopting a family for Thanksgiving and Christmas and hosting two-day camps (1st Alarm Girls Fire Camp) for girls aged 10-14 possibly in the summer of 2017.  In working with the department, St. Florian’s Brigade may offer a mentorship program to newly graduated female recruits from the fire training academy and volunteer training programs, support our members as they strive to get promoted, included, mentored, and assist/support with any related issues.

You can follow St. Florian’s Brigade on Instagram @st.floriansbrigade and like them on Facebook @St. Florian’s Brigade.

For more information, please contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-6039.

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2016 Press Releases