New Jersey, the first state to recognize a woman as a firefighter in the 1920s, is now falling behind the national average of female firefighters, according to recent statistics from the state Department of Community Affairs. The national average of female firefighters stands at a stark 4.1 percent, and most of New Jersey’s counties fall below that line. Only 47 percent of women advance following the physical ability test, compared to 84 percent of men. In Hudson County, there are 1,618 firefighters, making it the county with the highest percentage of career firefighters in New Jersey. But it has the lowest percentage of women--of the 1,618 firefighters, only 12 are women. Recruitment starts at an early age, and the state is worried that they’re not doing enough to reach a larger female audience. They’re starting to ramp up marketing efforts in hopes to raise representation among female firefighters. “It's historically been a male-dominated profession, and maybe we aren’t doing a good job of getting the word out to the female audience," said Chief Steven McGill, “We’re definitely behind in our recruitment. We are trying to get better at it."