Florida Fire Department Hires First Female Career Firefighter
Citrus County has a new firefighter on their fire department. Kelly Seiferheld, 29, has been hired as the first female career firefighter on the team and hopes to inspire more women to join their fire departments.
Experiencing the Calling
Seiferheld knew that she wanted to become a firefighter when she had originally been training for the Coast Guard and realized that she had a fear of the water.
However, she experienced a rush when she trained with firefighters on her calls and knew it was the right career for her.
Citrus County Fire Rescue’s Fire Chief Craig Steven says that Seiferheld has the mindset of a firefighter. She has the “heart and desire to help people,” which is more than enough for what a firefighter needs to do their job. Seiferheld also possesses the strength to carry the 126-pound ladder regardless of her 5-foot-four frame.
The fire department has been very welcoming. She feels that she has found a group of brothers, another family when she is on the job. They look out for her, and she looks out for them. Firefighters work in teams. They have to respect each other and look out for each other in order to be effective at their jobs.
New firefighters work for a year under probation. Seiferheld completes her probationary period in July 2018 and looks forward to her career as a firefighter. She told reporters that she wants to inspire other women to join this field.
The Right Mindset
The key to becoming a firefighter is to be determined to do it. Learn as much as you can and retain the information. Physical fitness might be important but not as important as the right mindset for the job.
Seiferheld breaks stereotypes by becoming a firefighter and says that size and gender do not matter in this field. Anyone with the will to become a firefighter can do this.
Fire training can be completed in as little as a year. The associate’s degree in Fire Science takes about two years and prepares firefighters for supervisory roles within their fire departments.
Kelly Seiferheld might be the first female career firefighter at her fire department, but she will not be the last. Women interested in a firefighting career should contact their local fire department and fire schools to learn more about this career