PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) –The Peoria Fire Department hosted a media event today celebrating their female firefighters. This event rounded out International Women’s Month and showcased the past and future of women in the department.

Lore Baxter, Division Chief of Operations for the Peoria Fire Department, is excited for the progress the department continues to make.

“We’re making history at the Peoria Fire Department, and it deserves a celebration, it shows you where we were and where we’re going, and I hope that continues and we hire more females and our department grows,” Baxter said.

Firefighting is traditionally male-dominated, but the department does not want women to be deterred because of that. One of the female firefighters being celebrated, Riley Taylor, said that the men do not treat the women any differently.

“When I walk into a room I’m not like ‘oh my gosh I’m the girl in the room’ and hide in the corner, everybody embraces me and they’re happy to see me just like they would anybody else, and I think there’s really something to be said about that,” Taylor said.

The department also reaches out to interested young women. Baxter said that they can attend ride alongs and meet crew members.