Watch: Fire Department Hires First Female Firefighter in Its 105-Year History

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A Harlingen, Texas woman is following in the footsteps of her father, but making history along by becoming one of the first women at their local fire department.

Since she was a little girl, Bree Rios told her father she wanted to work with him at the Texas fire department. Her father, Victor had been with the department for more than 20 years.

The city’s fire team, comprised of 108 men never saw women passing the exam — until now.

In an interview with Inside Edition, Fire Chief Roy Rubio said that Rios prepared herself for months, took the tests three times before passing and is “doing well.”

Apart from a written exam that involves intense studying, applicants must pass a physical agility course that is the same for both men and women. The fire department’s requirements are roughly the same in other firefighting agencies across the country, but Rios has been one of the first to succeed in their town, helping make history as the first women in its 105-year history.

MORE: Firefighters Name New Truck After Baby Left at Station 11 Years Ago

While anyone can apply, Rubio says there are have been other females that have taken the test and passed the written test, but not the physical agility portion like Rios.

After completing four months of orientation training, Rios will be assigned a field supervisor to lead her through her probationary period. The Texas town’s newest firefighter told CBS News affiliate, KGBT that making the department has had a bigger impact than she first imagined.

“I’ve had people reach out to me, girls out in public say, ‘Hey, aren’t you that girl?’” she said. “To the women and young girls of the community: If you set your mind to something and you really want to do it, go out and do it. It can happen.”

[H/T Twitter / @KGBT]


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Tania Hussain |

Tania Hussain is a native of Toronto and a Hoosier at heart, studying journalism at Ball State University in Indiana. She has a mad love for fine cheese, film, music, and meeting people upon her many travels. When Tania’s not writing at Womanista, she can be found going for long nature runs, rooting for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals, photographing sights and food, or writing for her online magazine, The Hudsucker. She is also a member of the Indy-based, Society of Professional Journalists—one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists.