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'Taking the Heat': Fighting to Join the NYFD

The current cadre of female New York City firefighters represent a decades-long struggle of some pioneering women to earn the right to save lives alongside their male comrades.

Leading that fight was Brenda Berkman, now a captain for the NYFD. She started her career in the formerly all-male fire service in 1982, after winning a federal sex discrimination lawsuit.

That lawsuit and the personal stories of the other female firefighters who have followed Berkman into service is the subject of a new PBS documentary, Taking the Heat.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.