The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District has announced the hiring of its first full-time female firefighter in 17 years. She’s the second one in the district’s history.
“When somebody calls 911, they don’t care if a man or a woman shows up. They just want someone who can do the job,” firefighter and paramedic Rachel Ulm told Central Oregon Daily News Friday. “And so I feel really honored that the people at Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire saw me as that individual who could fill this role and do that job and I get to show up every day and help people.”
Ulm has already served 3 1/2 years as a resident volunteer with the district before her full-time hire, the district said Thursday.
“Ulm started her journey in Sisters as a freshman in college at COCC in 2019, and has earned associates degrees in both Fire Science and EMS, as well as earning multiple structural and wildfire qualifications,” the district said in a statement. “She also served as the resident volunteer lieutenant, helping administrative staff with the day-to-day management of the resident volunteer program.”
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Firefighting is in her blood.
“My dad is a firefighter over in the valley. I always knew this is what I wanted to do,” Ulm told Central Oregon Daily News Friday.
Ulm also served as a trainer and mentor for new members, especially women just entering the service. The district said women many times need to develop different techniques in order to meet the physical demands of firefighting.
“I love working with other women to help them be successful in this business!” Ulm said in a statement.
“Rachel has been an incredible asset to our organization”, said Deputy Chief Tim Craig in a statement. “We have had the opportunity to watch her develop new skills, demonstrate her leadership ability, and show her motivation to excel in a business that is typically male dominated. FF Ulm has a very bright future ahead of her!”
Ulm joins Beth Mitchell as the only women to serve as career firefighters in Sisters. Mitchell is now a captain with Redmond Fire and Rescue.