Local News

Female First Responders Hope to Encourage Others

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - Staci Olson, Paramedic with the Grand Junction Fire Department says male dominating employment statistics never stopped her from achieving her dreams in the fire service.

Many other women didn't share the same dream, and the numbers show.

"Right now on our crews we have 117 total employees and 7 of them are women," said Ellis Thompson-Ellis, Community Outreach Specialist with GJFD.

During a time when men were seen as the prototype for positions in the industry, the lack of support from others never discouraged Olson from pursuing her career goals.

"The unfortunate thing is that in the early 80's it was a mans job, and I did not necessarily receive encouragement from my teachers and peers to pursue this field, but still knew that it was what I wanted to do," said Olson.

"I think in general in the public there is this perception of what a firefighter is, and people have this stereotype of this huge strong male fire fighter and the truth is we have strong women too," said Thompson-Ellis.

For Olson a lot of the support she receives comes from her male co-workers.

"These guys are my friends, they're my brothers and they have encouraged me every step of the way,' said Olson.

While the biggest reward comes from doing what she's always wanted to do, serving her community.

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