Today is International Women's Day (IWD), a time to celebrate empowering women in our community and worldwide. 

The Strathmore Fire Department (SFD) staff includes 11 women, all of whom work hard every day to make a meaningful difference and serve members of the community. 

Firefighter Alaine Sharpe spoke about what it is like to be a woman working in a traditionally predominantly male industry. 

“The Strathmore Fire Department has always made it a welcoming environment. It doesn't really matter if you are a man or a woman. They focus on whether you're doing a good job. I really appreciate that I get to work with women who have such a positive mindset around that,” Sharpe said. 

Before becoming a firefighter, Sharpe worked in construction and taught carpentry courses at SAIT. 

She offered some advice to any woman who is interested in pursuing a career in firefighting or a similar path. 

“Focus on the job. Focus on working hard to become the best you can be at the job. It's not about being a female firefighter or a female. Whatever you do, focus on that job, and then have being a female doing it as a side factor.” 

Sharpe started with SFD in 2021 and said it wasn't an easy journey to get to where she is now; she had to learn a lot of new information quickly and needed to build her physical strength as well. 

“I looked for training opportunities wherever I could. I wanted to learn as much as possible from as many different people. I really put in the work and focused on getting better and stronger every day, and I still focus on that now.” 

Each woman who makes up the Strathmore Fire Department is unique in their own way, but they all share a similar mindset. 

“It's really great that I get to work with strong, competent women who are willing to put in a lot of hard work to do what they care about and that they support each other to do the same all the time,” Sharpe said. 

The other women who make up the Strathmore Fire Department are: 

Krista Sandum – Administrative Support and Emergency Management Coordinator. 

Sandum started her service at the firehall in 2021 after 18 years in the oil and gas industry and with the Drumheller Hospital/Ambulance. 

Sandum says that “I love the community spirit and support we get to experience at the fire station daily. I am proud to be a part of the dedicated team at SFD.” 

She is a car enthusiast and loves to camp in her spare time. 

Rebekah Voisin – Firefighter 

Voisin started with SFD in 2021. She wanted to become a firefighter because she wanted to be of service and have a greater impact on people. 

Voisin is also a proud mother of two daughters. 

Morgan Bentley - Firefighter 

Bentley started with the fire department in 2022; she became a firefighter to serve the community in a new and exciting way. 

After being a massage therapist in Strathmore for over 10 years, she realized she had a desire to contribute even more to this community and began her journey with SFD. 

Bentley has a passion for hard work and physical fitness, which contributes greatly to her love of firefighting. 

Katelyn Redekopp – Firefighter 

Redekopp has been with SFD since 2021. She is passionate about serving her community through her work in emergency services. 

She also works from home as a fitness coach and nutrition practitioner and is a casual 911 call taker and fire dispatcher. 

In her spare time, Redekopp is a runner and is looking forward to running her first ultramarathon in October. 

Erica Barnson- Firefighter 

Barnson started with SFD in 2017. In the summertime, she also works for Alberta Wildfire as a Helitack firefighter. 

She is also in the final stages of getting her degree in criminal justice. 

Kimberley Hardiman – Firefighter 

Hardiman has been working with SFD since 2019. She moved to Strathmore specifically to join the fire department. 

“It’s been an amazing experience serving the community, and I look forward to continuing that,” Hardiman said. 

Samantha Bragg- Firefighter 

Bragg joined SFD in 2022. 

Yulisa Solda – Firefighter 

Solda started with SFD in 2019. 

Jasmine Janzen – Firefighter 

Sara Coutts- Emergency Management Coordinator 

Coutts started working with SFD in 2022. 

All 11 women who make up the SFD continue to make change in the community and exemplify what it is like to be a strong, inspirational woman.

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