Fire Cadet Gaines

Submitted By: Meghan  | Age: 20 

Wildland I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life until I took my EMT class. The college I was attending was simultaneously running a fire academy at the same time. Sometimes I would see the cadets doing drills and I thought to myself, “Well, I can do that” and so I put my name on the list. I joined the volunteer department where I live and I was running calls and training with them for a year and a half before my academy started.

I’m currently 3 months in to my 9 month academy. I am the only female in the class of 18. This was a slight issue in the beginning, but I knew I was going to have to prove myself and show them that I have as much heart as all of those guys put together. Once they realized that I wasn’t going anywhere they opened up and I got 17 brothers.

Anyone who says that firefighting is a man’s job will only be fueling me to prove him wrong and excel at my profession. The first ride in a fire engine running lights and sirens is a thrill that I look forward to for the rest of my life.


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1 Comment

  1. gretchen on April 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Good for you for persevering and it’s nice to have a story with a happy ending! Gaining 17 brothers sounds like a good deal to me.

    You are correct in that sometimes it takes time before women are properly accepted into non-traditional careers. It seems like we often have to work twice as hard just to get the same recognition as the slacker next to us.

    Thanks for sharing. Enjoy that first ride!

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