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Katie Becker wanted to leave no doubt about what had driven her out of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The high-ranking women met with Mayor Eric Garcetti that summer to show him a follow-up letter Becker had written about her experiences at the department. For the women, it was a chance to show the mayor that more urgent action was needed to fulfill his promise of expanding the ranks of female firefighters and to overhaul an LAFD culture in which women and minority firefighters said they frequently felt bullied and mistreated.

But despite that meeting, and repeated pledges by Garcetti over the years to address gender equity, advocates for women in the Fire Department are dismayed by what they view as slow progress. Garcetti and his administration, concluding their eighth year in office, get credit for expanding the of women serving as firefighters and in the higher ranks of the department.

Women now hold jobs, or 3. Los Angeles Women in the Fire Service, an advocacy group for women at the department, says that a study of workplace culture has been delayed for more than three years, leaving the precise sentiments of women and others unquantified. She declined, and remains on the panel.

The intense scrutiny of the year-old department only increased in mid-June, when a group of six Black employees in the Fire Prevention Bureau sued the city. The city would not comment on the pending litigation. Why is the department still dominated by men? Garcetti declined a request for Firefighter looking for a bad girl hot times interview. But his deputy mayor for public safety scoffed at the notion that the mayor had fallen short on advocating for women and underrepresented groups.

The fight for gender and racial equity has stirred dissension inside the fire agency for decades. Times subscribers first access to our best journalism. Thank you for your support. InMayor Richard Riordan forced out Fire Commissioner Leslie Song Winner, who had been an unbending advocate for women and members of minority groups.

Riordan accused her of not being a team player. The women said they were targeted with sexist remarks, with one describing unsolicited concern over her menstrual cycle. It lags well behind San Francisco, where The first hurdle for many women in the L. That resulted in men being sent to city fire stations, compared with 36 women.

Just three of the seven women who entered the academy in December graduated with their class in May. The three had all failed attempts, meaning they needed two tries to get through the academy. The recruit had grown up in Westchester and graduated from the University of Colorado before she took a class to be an emergency medical technician and realized she had found her calling in the emergency services.

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She applied to a few departments and heard back first from her hometown LAFD. But her experience turned ugly from the first day at the academy, she said in her post-reation letter. In the harsh atmosphere, her new colleagues actively rooted for her to fail, she recalled. Things got no better during her probationary year. Escalating the frustration of Los Angeles Women in the Fire Service as well as Black firefighters was the halting effort to complete two studies about the lot of women and people of color in the department.

The money bounced in and out of the budget several times, most recently when the COVID pandemic hit. And that avoids, actively, confronting uncomfortable truths. And it has changed more than you realize. Some women have complained, for example, that the training academy requires certain techniques for placing and extending fire ladders that are nearly impossible for shorter recruits, often women.

Workarounds that allow the ladders to be safely and effectively deployed in the field are not permitted in the academy, they said, and a thorough study of standards for raising ladders has not been completed. Los Angeles Women in the Fire Service and the Stentorians, representing Black employees of the Fire Department, told the commission in that they had grown tired of the unproven claim that any change in training requirements would reduce safety. The emotionally fraught debate has divided the Fire Commission, where the last vestiges of collegiality slipped away in mid-May.

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Ibarra, a lawyer, insisted she was in charge because Garcetti had asked her to be commission president. Babcock did not respond to a request for comment. On a council heavily allied with organized labor, Babcock was approved by a vote, without discussion. In a little more than 20 years, Crowley has risen to become the highest-ranking woman in the LAFD, positioning her to potentially lead the agency one day.

Crowley, 50, said she had seen real progress since she ed the department. Women have made greater inro in the upper echelons of the Fire Department than among the rank and file. Of the 92 individuals who are battalion chiefs or above, nine are women. Crowley said her climb up the ranks put her in a better position to assure opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups.

She said she wanted to serve as an example to others. Yet she understands why other women express impatience for the organizational assessment. Given past delays and inertia, several other female chief officers said they remained skeptical. To bring them on a job where they will be treated like crap for 30 years? At 31, Becker said she was now ready to talk about her experiences, if anyone inside the Fire Department thinks the information would help make things better. James Rainey has covered multiple presidential elections, the media and the environment, mostly at the Los Angeles Times, which he first ed in He was part of Times teams that won three Pulitzer Prizes.

Bearsun is walking from L. His job was to police bad lawyers. While working as a watchdog for the public, Tom Layton spent hours advancing the interests and political connections of one lawyer with a long record of misconduct complaints, s obtained by The Times show.

Aggressive River fire burns structures near Yosemite; Sugar fire tops 90, acres. The fast-moving River fire swelled to more than 9, acres Tuesday as firefighters tried to protect communities in the area. Lawsuits are seeking potential class-action damages from Dow Chemical and its successor company over a bug killer linked to brain damage in children.

All Sections. About Us. B2B Publishing. Business Visionaries. Hot Property. Times Events. Firefighter looking for a bad girl hot times Store. Becker has since left the department. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. Katie Becker, a former L. Rebecca Ninburg speaks during a Board of Fire Commissioners meeting in California L.

Caroline Carpenter, wearing a black hat as the top recruit in her class, stands with other firefighters in Andrew Glazier spoke during a Fire Commission meeting last year on how Mayor Eric Garcetti was falling short in his goal for hiring more female firefighters. She said she wants to serve as an example for others. California Politics. James Rainey. Follow Us twitter instagram facebook. Dakota Smith. More From the Los Angeles Times. California Bearsun is walking from L.

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