August 2017 : Veteran Firefighter Experiences Positive Changes
Susan Caskie has been a firefighter for Henrico County for 25 years and is set to retire in September. Throughout her career she has watched the number of female firefighters grow within the department. In 2012, the Division of Fire had only eight female firefighters, but in a short time frame has experienced an increase in new female firefighters.
Although the Division of Fire has noticed an increase in female firefighters, on June 21and 29 the County had a chance to witness this change also. Just two months ago the County staffed its first and second all-female engine, by accident! It is not uncommon for firefighters to backfill oth-er stations and on this particular day, Grace Cuenin helped to fill a hole at station 13, home station to Michele Greep and Nichole Beall.
Two weeks later, Susan Caskie backfilled at Station 13 and was also a part of another all-female engine crew. “From the day you walk through recruit school to the day you retire, all eyes are on you,” said Caskie describing the expe-rience of a female firefighter. “When I was a little girl, women couldn’t be firefighters.”