Emily Loveday - Fire Fighter
"Hi! My name is Emily Loveday. I am a full time firefighter at Jenks Fire Rescue. I know this piece is about breaking barriers so I’ll lead with that. I am the first female firefighter to be hired in my city (and currently still the only one at my department) which is something I will be proud of for the rest of ever!
I absolutely LOVE being a firefighter! I actually hate having days off which is when you know you’ve found the career for you. As a firefighter, we are trained in so many different things. We are trained in fires (structure, car and grass), search and rescue, medical calls, vehicle extrication, car crashes, ropes rescue, swift water rescue, confined spaces, hazardous materials, saving cats from trees, and many other things. I love the variety of things we could face everyday. We don’t always know what we will see when we show up on scene but being able to show up and help people in whatever area it may be is what I love most.
I definitely had to work for this job. I’m a single mom of two kids, both were involved in sports, I worked a full time job, was in EMT school, and put in hours at the station so that I would be qualified for the job. It was quite the 7 months. I would say being a female in a male dominant field has its challenges. Since I’m the first at my department, it’s been a transition for all of us. We’re all figuring it out. I feel like there is more to prove and more pressure to perform as a female. You have the awkwardness of people not knowing what to say or how to act around you. I went to one class where the instructor yelled “Everyone is afraid to say anything to you because you’re a girl but I don’t care. I’ll do this until you’re perfect or you cry”, so stuff like that does happen. You get asked “do you need help with that” more than the guys by people who don’t know or don’t trust your abilities. Your abilities are doubted. There have been some that were uncomfortable training with me because I’m a female. However, I’ve had it pretty easy compared to some others that I’ve talked to who are in the same field. I absolutely love the department I’m at and the shift I’m on! I am absolutely blessed to be where I’m at! There are several guys at my department that have helped me tremendously, made the transition easy and haven’t treated me any different.
I want to encourage all girls to pursue whatever they want regardless of how much adversity there might be. It will be hard. It will take your time away from “fun things” but put your head down and grind through the short term struggles for the long term result! Your dream is on the other side of opposition. You will inspire so many people along your journey. You will look back, smile and think “I DID THIS!”.
Be a pioneer!
Pave the way for people coming behind you!
You are tough!
You are capable of extraordinary things!
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