BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Fire Department hosted its first ever women’s academy. An opportunity to give local women a day-long experience of the work of a firefighter.

Being a firefighter takes dedication and 20 women geared up to see what it takes.

“So this program is about inspiring confidence, showing females this job can be done and that they can do it,” Butch Agosta the deputy chief with Kern County Fire Department said.

The gear weighs more than 30 pounds but that didn’t stop any of the women in the training session.

“This is really new,” Emily Hansen an academy participant said. “I haven’t gotten a whole lot of experience with the fire department. Getting to go through our gear and putting everything on and getting to take some doors off and go up that firefighter ladder, that was really cool too.”

The group used tools to break open cars, evacuate dummies from a smoke filled building and climb multiple stories up the firetruck’s ladder.

They also met with women who joined the fire department. The biggest take away from the academy for most of the women was the growing support system for ladies in this career field.

“This can be something that women can do and you know we hear about girls in the academy who go through all the physical training and they’re hanging up there with the guys,” Hansen said. “So you know we can do it. This is the future. Women can do this for sure.”

Kern County fire department say they aren’t sure if they’ll host another event like this one but if you are a woman in the community that’s interested in becoming a firefighter there’s resources on their website.