Ester and Natalia Ortiz are sisters. They live in Ushuaia in the world’s end. 11 years ago their life totally changed when a kid was hit by a car. The sisters heard the yelling and they immediately went out to rescue him. Unfortunately, the child passed away before the ambulance arrived. On that day they decided to leave everything to become women firefighters. Everyday the Ortiz sisters have to prove to their masculine colleagues that a woman can be firefighter, despite of danger and machos jokes.
When I arrived to the “2 de avril” firefighter barracks I found Ester Ortiz, the eldest of the sisters, smoking a cigarette outside. I had contact them two weeks before explaining to the chief that I wanted to do a photo documentary about women firefighters. So, the chief told me that they had five women working with them in the barracks “2 de avril”. Ester was 35 years old at the time I did the photo-documentary. She used to work as a journalist. With her sister they are very proud to be women firefighters and they really enjoyed explaining to me why a woman is so important for that profession: “ when an accident occurs, tells me Ester finishing her cigarette, many times I am the first one to be in contact with wounded person and the only one able to slip into broken car sheet metal.” On the first day, I spent a lot of time talking and interviewing the sisters and others firefighters. One of them tells me that they work as volunteer firefighters. In Argentina they just earn 400 dollars per month without any social security.
During my photo documentary the sisters told me about macho behavior they suffer of. When Natalia, the youngest sister, succeeded in being the first woman firefighter instructor in the world’s end some of her colleagues told to her: “ you must have terrible knee pain!” Two days later while I was finishing the photo documentary I was told that men firefighters had bet that the sisters would “ spend some time” with me just for a newspaper publication.