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A New Journey: A Female FireMedic's Tale

A New Journey: A Female FireMedic's Tale

Kristen Winters

I sat in that chair, facing my new chief. I plastered a smile on my face, put enthusiasm in my voice, and told him I would be thrilled to attend the fire academy. From that moment on, I was officially a probationary member of LFD.

Later that week I met the other probies. I was quick to notice I was the only female. And not only was I the only female, I was the oldest by 6 years. Yes, dear readers, I fought the fire academy for so long, that I was going into it at the ripe old age of 29.

I sought out the other females, all two of them, on the department. I was hoping they would be able to give me some wisdom, words of advice. Be yourself. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you shouldn’t be there. Try your hardest. You will be able to do things the guys can’t, take power in it. Work smarter, not harder.

The academy started in one weeks time. I was apprehensive, excited, scared, nervous, many other emotions I can’t even name.

Could I do this? Could I be what this department needed me to be as a firemedic?

But most of all, could I do this for myself? Could I overcome whatever fears that have held me back? Could I keep up with the much younger, much more fit guys? Could I become a great firefighter?

Looking back, it was more fun, and more challenging, then I ever could have imagined. I learned much more about myself during that time then I thought possible. I did overcome fears. I did overcome insecurities. And I am a much better woman because of it.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you. I hope you can take something from it, expand on it, and make your probationary year the best it can be. You will never get this time back. Enjoy it!