Ashland Daily Press: Local Rescue Divas featured in Discover Wisconsin video series

By Sara M. Chase
August 25, 2018

A film crew captures footage of an Ashland firefighter assisting a Rescue Diva camper as she uses a fire hose in an exercise intended to simulate situations rescue crews encounter in fires. The video is part of a Discover Wisconsin episode about Rescue Divas airing now through the end of October.

An Ashland woman’s firefighting camp is being featured on the Discover Wisconsin television show in a series on University of Wisconsin-Madison graduates and the impact they have had on the world.

Rescue Divas is a five-day residential camp experience, focusing on educating and exciting middle-school-age girls about careers or volunteer positions in emergency medicine. It was founded by camp director Carrie Okey while she was working for a workforce development organization in Ashland.

The camp was born from Okey’s desire to help even out statistics after she learned that “just one-third of the nation’s emergency medical technicians and paramedics are women.”

“Rescue Divas expose young women to a career they may not have considered,” Tod Pritchard, director of media and public relations for the University of Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, said in a recent release. “Not only does this effort inspire girls, it will ultimately help save lives.”

The camp provides girls with hands-on experiences and includes speakers, field trips, campfires, picnics and games, plus CPR and first-aid certifications.

“If it weren’t for a grant provided by UW-Madison plus the vision of one incredible difference-maker, Rescue Divas probably wouldn’t exist,” Mariah Haberman, co-host of Discover Wisconsin, said in the release. “It’s amazing what can happen when talented and passionate people come together to get one fantastic idea off the ground!”

The footage for the video series was filmed during the fourth annual Rescue Divas EMS Summer Camp for Girls in June and stems back to the initial grant from the UW-Madison Office of Rural Health that started the camp.

The Rescue Divas program remains committed to providing educational and training opportunities for young girls, and hopes to grow and expand.

The third video in the Discover Wisconsin series – featuring the Rescue Divas – began airing on broadcast television and Discover Wisconsin’s digital channels and will be shown through October.