WATCH | This firefighting crew are all women and they’re sending stereotypes up in flames

South Africa’s first-ever all-female firefighters.
South Africa’s first-ever all-female firefighters.
Image: Beautiful News.

The flames crawl forward, licking the foliage as the landscape turns to ash. A band of women stand strong against the inferno. Behind them, Charl Steenkamp has his camera at the ready.

When a fire breaks out, many expect a team of men to contain it. But South Africa’s first-ever all-female brigade is blazing a trail of inclusivity, and Steenkamp is documenting this historic moment.

With the continuous outbreaks in the Western Cape, more firefighters are needed to brave the heat.

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Steenkamp is the branch manager of NCC Environmental Services, who have set forth to empower and train 15 women as firefighters. Their name – Juliet Crew. “Fire sees no gender,” Steenkamp says.

The squad’s first battle was against a fire in the wetlands of Noordhoek, where they fought back the flames and saved the ecosystem.


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Their achievements must not go unseen. By capturing their work, Steenkamp is illuminating their dedication and fearlessness.

“Being male, being white, having a relatively stable upbringing, I’ve had opportunities that a lot of these women have never had and if I can give them some opportunity to go somewhere then I think I’ve done a little bit in helping the world,” he says. “I will champion women’s rights wherever I go.”

While fighting for our safety, these firefighters are igniting a movement of inclusion, not only for our country but for the world.

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