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MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – There’s a new face at the Milledgeville Fire Department.
Heather Nation is the first female firefighter to work at the department in decades.
That’s an important milestone in the grand scheme of things, but sometimes it’s the little things that are just as appreciated.
“Being female, it’s extremely hard to find gear that fits you. But my pants fit here, and it’s so exciting,” Nation said.
If you would have told Heather Nation 10 years ago that she would be a firefighter:
“There’s absolutely no way I would have ever wanted to do this. In high school I couldn’t have even seen myself doing EMS.”
But it was her love for helping people that got her to become a first responder, working closely with a fire department.
“At the fire station, I was friends with a lot of the guys that worked there,” Nation remembers. “And I saw that they were getting to do the same medical stuff that I do, but they also got to do all these awesome drills.”
Nation says being a first responder is rewarding, and making the switch to being a firefighter takes it to the next level.
“I love a lot of adrenaline. It’s a feeling that you can’t explain until you’re in it because when you’re in the truck on the way to a call, a thousand and ten things go through your head.”
While in the midst of everything, Nation doesn’t realize she’s the only woman with her crew.
“There’s absolutely no reason that a female can’t do the same job that a guy can,” she said.
At times, she says it can get intimidating, but that doesn’t stop her.
“When you succeed at something and you do well, it’s so rewarding. And to show the guys that I’m completely capable of doing it and seeing their reactions to things, it makes it all worth it.”
The first female firefighter joined the Milledgevile Fire Department in the 1980’s, but no longer works there.