By Jessica M. Rinker, Illustrated by Meg Hunt
Brenda Berkman was often told that she couldn't do certain things because she was a girl. When she grew up, she longed for a job that was challenging, different every day, and required physical and mental strength. In 1977 when the New York City Fire Department finally complied with the Civil Rights Act (from 1964) by allowing women to take the FDNY exam, Brenda jumped at the chance.
But the FDNY changed the rules of the exam so women wouldn't be able to pass it. Even a lot of men couldn't pass this new exam.
So Brenda Berkman took the FDNY to court. In 1982, they finally made a fair test, and Brenda and 40 other women passed. She then founded the United Women Firefighters, an organization that helps train and prepare women to be firefighters. Brenda went on to serve in the FDNY for 25 years, reaching the positions of Lieutenant and Captain, and was a first responder during the attacks on the Twin Towers on 9/11. Send a Girl! is Brenda Berkman's inspiring story.