"Firefighters" to replace "firemen" in Howard County

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WMAR) - The term “firefighters” will soon be replacing “firemen” in all instances.

The change will take place in Howard County and is the result of the Council’s unanimous decision to pass Bill No. 10-2018 (CB-10). The bill, which will become effective in early May, was introduced at the request of County Executive Allan H. Kittleman and Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) Chief John S. Butler.

“I spend a lot of time with our first responders and the term ‘firemen’ is viewed by many, both inside and outside the department, as outdated,” said Kittleman. “It simply does not reflect the makeup of our County’s evolving, diverse, and inclusive public safety sector and our combination fire department.”

A record number of women and culturally diverse trainees registered for last year’s HCDFRS academy class.

“While the term ‘firemen’ may have been acceptable at one time in our industry, we are striving to be a more inclusive and diverse Fire and EMS department,” said Butler. “Updating the name in the County Code is progress, but this does not change the culture of our department.”

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