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Fed up with a lack of privacy, a female firefighter wants separate sleeping quarters and bathrooms built for all the women in the Fire Department.

Lisa Epps, a firefighter for eight years, filed a federal lawsuit Friday, saying she has been a victim of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Of the city's 997 firefighters, 24 are women. They share bunk facilities at fire stations and sometimes take showers while male co-workers stand guard. Nationwide, about 2 percent of the 260,000 paid firefighters are women.

"Fire stations built more than 20 years ago were not built with a two-gender work force in mind. We're all dealing with inadequate facilities," said Terese Floren, executive director of Women in the Fire Service, based in Madison, Wis.

City Solicitor Jacqueline Morrow would not comment on the lawsuit.

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