SAN DIEGO—It is rigorous, tough and not for the faint of heart.
The first San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's Girls Empowerment Camp. It taught teens between the ages of 14-18 what it takes to be a firefighter.
Amapola Fonseca is 15 years old. She heard about the program through her dad's job. During the two-day event, she has learned to face her fears.
"We had to go on a 24-foot ladder - that one scared me because I'm scared of heights but I still made it," she said.
Girls got hands-on experience and training from seasoned female professionals.
"If there's an emergency, how to break a window and how to go through a door," said Fonseca. They also learned how to use chainsaws, a fire hose, how to climb a fire truck ladder, and many other drills.
The goal: getting young girls excited about the job. San Diego - seeing the number of female firefighters dwindling.
By sparking an interest at an early age, firefighters hope the girls see this as a possible career choice.
"They, like, make it really easy for you, so, it shows me not to be afraid of everything. Like, take a chance," said Fonseca.
The event was free to attend, thanks to donors and sponsors. Campers also learned basic first-aid skills, how to use and automatic external defibrillator (AED), and received a certified in hands-only CPR.