BRITISH COLUMBIA

150 Mile House Fire Department Includes Women In 2016 Calendar

10/16/2015 06:06 EDT | Updated 10/16/2015 06:59 EDT

A B.C. firefighter department has gone the extra mile with its 2016 calendar by featuring not only the men, but shining a spotlight on the women, too.

Madeline Hjelden has volunteered with the 150 Mile House fire department for four years. She spearheaded the project after teasing her fellow firefighters about it for months.

"When I joined my hall, we had quite a few women," she told The Huffington Post B.C. in a phone interview Friday. "We do just as much as the men, so I thought it'd be neat to do."

With the support of her fire chief, Hjelden recruited local businesses to sponsor the project and started planning the photo shoot earlier this year.

"One thing I wanted to be really cautious of was not having a super-sexy look from the women," Hjelden said of choosing the poses.

"We wanted to show strength, and show we weren't pretty little things in the hall. We're strong and we're capable."

madeline hjelden

Madeline Hjelden

150 mile house calendar

151 mile house firefighter calendar

The volunteer said everyone in the hall "loves" the completed calendar, and the reaction from the small town has been great.

"We didn't expect it to cause such a stir," Hjelden said. "But we're really excited about it all."

The calendars are only being sold at businesses and gas stations around 150 Mile House for now — but Hjelden said she may set up an online store if enough people are interested in ordering.

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