Her Brotherhood

Ashby Anderson of Louisville Fire Department

April 07, 2020 Abby Bolt
Her Brotherhood
Ashby Anderson of Louisville Fire Department
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we meet Ashby Anderson. An inspirational firefighter, mother and wife in Louisville Kentucky. 

Louisville fire department is the third fire organization she’s worked with and she is happier than ever with her professional and personal life - but it wasn’t always that way.

The path she took to get here was less than smooth sailing. She learned the hard way what it meant to be the “only female” operational firefighter in an organization, how it felt to be the first female firefighter at a department to ever be expecting a child and the shocking, or not so much, response shown by leadership there. 

Ashby ended up in a specialty of the fire service that she never realized she’d love as much as she does. You can hear in her voice that she has a true passion for the mission, one that became clear to her as a young woman that followed her internal desire to serve others. 

There is a romantic twist to her journey that includes an empathetic leader and loving spouse of an adjacent department that really hit my heart. 

Ashby shares with us her experience and wisdom with a little bonus insight on how she feels when it comes to protecting her child who’s father she co-parents with, from Covid-19.

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spk_0:   0:03
you're listening to her brotherhood, Ah, place where we share stories and celebrate women who put their lives on the line. You see, we must share in inspire not only with little girls out there but the entire world, women and men to remind everyone that, yes, girls can, too. And they're damn good at it. In this episode, we meet Ashby Anderson, an inspirational firefighter, mother and wife in Louisville, Kentucky. Loofa Fire department is the third fire organization she's worked with, and she's happier than ever with her professional and personal life. But it wasn't always that way. The past she took to get here was less than smooth sailing. She learned the hard way would admit to be the Onley female operational firefighter in an organization, how it felt to be the first female firefighter to department to ever be expecting a child and the shocking or not so much response by leadership there. Ashby ended up in a specialty of the fire service that she never realized she love as much as she does. You can hear in her voice that she has a true passion for the mission, one that became clear to her as a young woman that followed her internal desire to serve others. There's a romantic twist to her journey that includes an empathetic leader and loving spouse of an adjacent department that really hit my heart. Ashby shares with us her experience in wisdom, with a little bonus insight on how she feels when it comes to protecting her child, whose father she co parents with from Cove in 19. And with that, let's meet Ashby. I am here with Ashby, Anderson, Ashby. It's so nice to have you. I'm so glad to be here speaking with you. Thank you. Right on. And I'm glad thanks for supporting her brotherhood and following us along this path and tell me, What is it that you do for a living? Where do you work and what kind of brought you, I guess, to her brotherhood. Why is it that we found each other?

spk_1:   2:04
I work or Louisville fired Apartment in Louisville, Kentucky P. I working the Fire Prevention Bureau and I'm a fire inspector. My bureau compromised, does inspectors playing reviewers and then people who also work in public education and outreach. And I'm one of those people. My dog function is split between enforcing an ex. Okay, One in terms of being a fire inspector in FDA is a National Fire Protection Association. So they are the authority on fire toad that my community has adopted. That is the prior to that we enforce and also our agency that pushes out educational messaging that we align with. So that is my basis for designing curriculum. I do a lot of research and work with other agencies, of course, and other messages and data that nfi A It is basically the foundations on which I work with

spk_0:   3:07
lots and excellent description. Thank you. And I What a great job you have that just Oh, my God. So interesting.

spk_1:   3:14
Yeah, I love it. It is really, really great. It took me a long time, Thio on my way here and also thio a just because I came from being a line firefighter and working in suppression, which I did for about 10 years before I came to the Fire Prevention Bureau and I transitioned over a little bit unexpectedly in that change, I was, I guess, not fully prepared emotionally for it and just kind of really brokenhearted, honestly, to stop fighting fire.

spk_0:   3:48
I know that I know exactly that emotion you're talking about, no matter what line of work you're in, like with her brotherhood kind of routes, like all these life saving first responder kind of military careers that are out there operational versus planning versus logistical. You know, you go into all these different routes and going from operations to something else that you were like Suppression slash operations into prevention. And some folks don't realize, like what a shock that could be to your system. Especially that's not on your immediate planning trail. Like if that's not what you were planning on and it can really mess with your head and your emotion. And I could be a complete loss of identity. And so what? What was it that brought you from suppression to prevention?

spk_1:   4:31
For me, it was having a baby. My husband and I. We have two older Children from previous marriages that we have a blended family and our two older Children are 12 to 15. But at the time they were can and 13 so they're a little bit younger, but still much more so sufficient. And a baby. I get so right and also being from a blended family. They have other sets of parents, and so our schedule allows.

spk_0:   5:01
You guys have a tribe? Riled village, I guess. Yeah.

spk_1:   5:04
Eric back. So my husband and I were both suppression fire fighters, and we worked on the same footing. We did not work for the same agency, but we worked for this on the same on the same ship. So we were together, or we were at work the same 24 hours, and then we're off for the same 48 hours.

spk_0:   5:24
Wow. Seems kind of dreams. Good. Theoretically, right? Like when I was young and first getting started in a fire, I had this, like, you know, this invincible complex about the future of my life that I would grow up. And then when I decided to have kids and get married, like it would be this for both gonna be, you know, this will. But I'm gonna do whatever I want. I'm gonna have I'm gonna be able to work and travel as much as I want, and then I just magically take care of this child. Families like you have this idea of how it's gonna go and then Bam, 20 years later, reality smacks you across the face, and it's not that simple,

spk_1:   5:56
right? You suddenly realized it is logistically and financially impossible. So you have to do some recon figuring. When I was pregnant, I realized that I did not want someone else to raise our baby for 24 hours at all. They didn't want her to be without us together as a whole unit for 48 hours. So meaning that if I were to just switch platoons, that still didn't really solved the hole in my heart, you know that I was feeling and so so during my pregnancy. There were some other factors. Of course, we'll probably touched on those later. But I was given an opportunity. You cry so condition for the agency that I work for now and Fire Prevention Bureau and I went for it and I ultimately got it. But the hours were so much better for us. I currently work for 10 our ship, so it's a 40 hour workweek, which, of course, is you know who solves that problem of the school.

spk_0:   6:52
A lot of people are like, well, 40 hour work week, you know? Yeah, that's everybody does its regular full time gig. Right, but and she's saying that's a lot better, But what you're saying is the 40 that the 4 10 shifts were a lot different than your other shifts. He can you explain what the firefighting shift was that you were working on, like how those hunks of ours really worked.

spk_1:   7:10
So before I would go into the work at eight o'clock in the morning and I would get off the next morning at eight o'clock that morning, and then I will be off for 48 hours and it would. It would start all over again. It was essentially every third day for 25 years, and that had so many benefits. And I loved it so much. But I have always been very conflict kid and being a mom and being a mom firefighter, specifically, those two things. When we had the baby, I really had Thio dig deep and um

spk_0:   7:45
is even if you can do it logistically, let's say you have, like, these insane finances, and you can pay a nanny to care for money, right? There's still that emotional and ethical pole that you care. I fix with money and time.

spk_1:   7:58
Yeah, that was it. It wasn't that we couldn't afford it or or, you know, how are we gonna make this work is that I did not want to be away from her for 24 hours. I just I couldn't resolve that no matter how I tried to rearrange it. That's not what I wanted. And I was just at a point in my life where that just wasn't gonna happen. The hard thing is just because you make a decision and it's something that you make a decision that is problems solving that solves the problem. It doesn't mean that got the fix is going Thio feel good? I get right. I knew that was what I wanted to do. And I knew that it was the right choice and job was a great opportunity and I got it. And now it's fantastic. But I would feel really Deva think it about not body firing more

spk_0:   8:44
Right, so there's a big didn't like you're trying to do. You know, you're sticking your finger in the hole in the damn, basically trying to hold things up and what you're saying is just because you're doing what is right ethically and financially. And yeah, motherly. That doesn't mean that the solution of that is gonna feel like a magical solution. You It's very rare that we get to make decisions to fix something in our lives and that fixes just a CZ. Happy and wonderful is you know, the other. I mean, that's if you can do that. That's somebody. Please get that recipe, because that is so You always have to make a sacrifice, right? And your sacrifice was to give up that schedule to give up being primary suppression and then ruling. I mean, really, what happens is you go from, like a an operational job where you're responding to emergencies. You got that? Yeah. That knee jerk emotional emergency instinct, Any that's going off all the time. Then you're going toe like an office job. You're going to become a gas jockey, Thio planning and prevention and all that kind of stuff, and it is just shocked to the soul and yeah, you know, and then you get so conflicted because you're being a mom and you're trying to be good about that. But then you're like, but I was gonna be a super mom and I was gonna be able to everything and this wasn't going right. You know, I know exactly where you're out Because I went from full time suppression to prevention, just like you did. Oh, my God. Yeah, yeah,

spk_1:   10:00
yeah. Just that huge walk in identity. I mean, everything changes when you're on a crew with three other people or to other people. You know, they called you to come. They want you to come and help. They're glad to see you. Birthday is being

spk_0:   10:14
your dorsal

spk_1:   10:15
where they don't They don't want you there. You're by yourself in a coral. The long you know, it's just totally different. It's so like a friend,

spk_0:   10:24
right? Yeah, you go from being, then you feel like a rent a cop. And you're you know, you're running around, turn enforce all these policies and yeah, no idea. I know what you mean. And and, you know, I went I slipped into it by default because we needed to move close to family. And it was before I had my baby and I took the job it from I was an engine captain. And then I went into prevention to do the right thing for a family, and then I had my baby later. But, you know, lucky for me, it was something that really did. I don't I really caught on to it when I did take the job, it wasn't because I wanted it. And it wasn't because that was my passion. But then there were so many things about fire prevention that were the public education, the PR, all of that stuff. And I can tell that, you know, you you may have moved to this because you want to be a good mother and put your family first. But it sounds like it was a really great fit for you.

spk_1:   11:12
Yeah, it is. It is a really great fit for me. Like you said all along during depression, when we were detailed to do fire prevention activity for old age that I worked four. I was always the one that would step up in interact with the Children and really take the initiative to take that seriously. And I always enjoyed that. It wasn't so much like what? Well, I mean, I took this job because logistically it's better. It was. I did connect with a piece of it, and it was something that I hold. I only wanted to do later down the line because I knew I wouldn't be able to fires a 65 year old woman. So it just wasn't on my radar for the immediate future. That kind of unfolded very quickly, but I love it so much more than I expected. And my husband pointed out that he feels and I agree with us that I have so much larger of a week than I did his

spk_0:   12:08
bio. Men like

spk_1:   12:09
I just have so much integrated capacity. Thio do good and on a much larger level. Yeah, then I ever get, you know, on the truck

spk_0:   12:19

spk_1:   12:20
Yes, that's important. That's important to me, especially the mom. I can really resonate with that and you know it and it feels good. It's not a measurable fighting. Fire is.

spk_0:   12:31
There's the There's the piece that you know people always like. I mean, there's some things that women are better at some things that guys were better at it, every occupation, and you know, people can argue this with me with all they want, but it's just what I have observed is one of the things that women are stronger. Out is like the PR side of things in the education side of things and connecting with the community because look at what you're doing right now. I mean, I know a lot of guys that are in fire prevention and education that are really good at it. They're great. Women have more of a strength in this by a number. You know, we just we just do and whether it's because we connect with Children easier or your people that are looking to be educated. But it's just a fact, and it's really great when people do shine in it and they really progressing. And I'm so glad to see them take that leap and do that.

spk_1:   13:18
Yeah, yeah, I I agree, I agree. So I'm I'm really glad, but where I am now, I work for an incredible agency that's very progressive, and they allow me. You educated myself as much as I can and they basically deflect me, take the ball and run with it.

spk_0:   13:36
That's why

spk_1:   13:37
which which has been great because I constantly am brainstorming and have a lot of ideas, and they're all

spk_0:   13:43
these things

spk_1:   13:43
I want to do in ways I want to reach our community, which is very, very diverse and always always evolving. But again, it's another cute addressing it coming from that. No freelancing. And you know you have thio your regimented and you have to be in the stocks all the time and you don't get paid to think you get paid to act. There

spk_0:   14:01
are no

spk_1:   14:01
now. Let's complete offices. So it's been a big adjustment, but it's been a good

spk_0:   14:07
things. Go, yeah, Alexe your creative juices, but see if somebody gets shoved a tease. Someone gets shoved into these funnels that really don't want to be there, and they really don't have that strength. That's when the whole prevention program can crash and burn. Because if you don't write, passionate can really be dangerous. And so it's important to those positions are filled with people for the right reasons. They may slip in there, not intentionally, but make sure we recognize the people that have those and hear you say, like they let me do whatever you want to do. If I have a great idea, they let me that that out, and that is critical in having leaders like that are so important now. Do you feel like it's a department culture that they have their in Louisville or do you feel like it's a particular leadership set? What do you think that is?

spk_1:   14:50
Oh, my gosh, that's hard to say. Of course, it has a whole lot to do with my direct chain of command, but I do the other leaders and other bureaus that have that support. So it's not just, you know, my major and my colonel of it Courtney, because that's who we are. I think as an organization for the most part, that that happens across the board. So when people step up and take initiative and take an interest in their community and in your job, you know, they keep pushing forward. And so I think that's just that's your problem.

spk_0:   15:23
It's ours, E think. And, you know, hearing personalities like your yours and your passion. What so crucial is having leadership that aren't afraid, that you're gonna surpassed them, because sometimes when you get someone as passionate as you are and excited and you have all these ideas, you might get a someone in a leadership position is like, Whoa, whoa, whoa. You know, you're right, Hump the brakes, little girl, cause you're sounding a little more outgoing and passionate than I ever could. And so they suppress those personalities. So So you know, it can happen. And so I'm glad to hear they're not doing that with you. How in the heck did you come along into fire? You know, tell me about getting started your first year and, you know, just kind of as you got going before you ever even had kids.

spk_1:   16:01
So long story store. I went to a high school that emphasize service and community service and getting out there and working with your canyon.

spk_0:   16:12
Where was that? Let's see where that was in the name of the high school. Give them a little shout out.

spk_1:   16:16
Okay, I graduated from Licking and Catholic High School, which is also in Kentucky. That was that really a part of our curriculum. It was mandatory in order to graduate. You had do so many community service hours, and I really loved breaking free from institution and going out into the community, you know, and just being with people. So that was something that I continued to speak. And after I graduated, it took me a while for a very long while I could find my place and to find out what I wanted to be with my life because I'm going to private school my whole life, it was kind of laid out that you were expected to really, really do something big, like being attorney or go to medical school into politics. And a lot of my a lot of the people that I graduated with do those things. But that was not what I wanted to do. It just didn't resonate with me. And so I didn't know what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I like to be artistic and I like to help. I always like to help. Just help, not even really be with people, but just to help people room so good. That's

spk_0:   17:26

spk_1:   17:27
Yeah, I'm very much an introvert, so it's not necessarily that I like working with people. It was just kind of being there to help someone needed it. I had moved to New York to be with my dad and my sisters and my that mother, and we lived in a a small village, and the only volunteer opportunity was one fire department. I joined the auxiliary because that's the living days. And about a week later, I was like, But But all you do is make sandwiches

spk_0:   17:56
like, how old are you? How old were you?

spk_1:   18:01
I would probably 2021.

spk_0:   18:04
Uh, yeah. You're joining all these thousands and grandma's and then the ladies auxiliary of the far right?

spk_1:   18:09
Yeah, like so. This is not what I was expecting. So we didn't take me long to switch over to this Depression side. So that's what I did. And I ended up making run every day. And I love you. The training I love learning about everything todo you know, with fire science and I fire and everything that want went along with it. So I decided I need to get paid to do this. People, people get paid to do this. And that's what I need to do. I need health insurance, and I'm spending my time doing it every day. So it's a job for some people, so I could make it my job.

spk_0:   18:43
Yeah. You recognize this wasn't a side gig. That's something you wanted to do a full time,

spk_1:   18:47
right? That was where the light bulb came on, and then it took a couple of years. I got married, I had a baby and then my husband at the time, and I moved to Florida for his work. And so in Florida, you have to be certified to get tired. You don't. It's very It's uncommon that they hire people and then put them through the training, which is what they do in conducting. But that's not what they do in Florida. So I went to applied to, Ah 55 Academy and I got in and I spent a year there and I got firefighter one you and Andy and all, you know, everything. I needed to work, and then we moved back, kick and packing. And I just started the job hunt. It was, I don't really remember

spk_0:   19:29
this point. You start. Let's have the one child yet and you have and you had your first baby. You were still volunteer status. You weren't full time working

spk_1:   19:37
working that way. When I part of volunteering it where I was married or had any Children, it was just when I was, you know, 2020

spk_0:   19:44
one room

spk_1:   19:45
and then during that during that same period time I got married and had a baby and so on. I think that my son was about two or three by the time I got my first job as a firefighter, and that was a full time Korea position,

spk_0:   20:00
so that schedule like

spk_1:   20:02
that was the same. It's a way for me. It's always been working 24 in all, 48. I guess that I guess that's just typical of how they do it in Kentucky, when you're a full time full time firefighters were 24

spk_0:   20:13
so take us after that.

spk_1:   20:14
My first job was for a small town, and it was all we have full time career firefighters. I was the second woman that they ever hired,

spk_0:   20:25
so you got picked up like regular through testing and applying, and then they did. They put you through an academy.

spk_1:   20:31
Exactly. You have written had physical ability test, which I didn't have to do because I had my pat cord. It's superseded their in house testing and so through the interview process. And then I was hired on with the group three or four other guys, relatively small group who had an academy that lasted a couple of months for me would review, obviously because I've been to a military firefighting academy already. But also, of course, learning specifics about that town, that apparatus. And you know

spk_0:   21:02
how it didn't. Exactly. And you said how many women were there on the department at the time?

spk_1:   21:07
One another one. Just the two of our Yeah, the two of us. She was on a different ship, and I Woz, she wasa good ny that overly welcoming, but also not unfriendly by any means. Just kind of kept yourself.

spk_0:   21:23
Did she have a family?

spk_1:   21:24
She did not know? Not at the time. One of the many things that happened is that the guys tried to kind of pit us against each other, You know, it didn't work. So because I don't really here what? She didn't She didn't care what I did, you know, like we never

spk_0:   21:39
You guys were a novelty either. Like ooh. Okay, so now we have to Exactly

spk_1:   21:44
Neither one of us ever took that bait, but we definitely recognize that it was happening. But also I think it inhibited our ability to get clothes or there really

spk_0:   21:55
is. You were doing to avoid being a spectacle.

spk_1:   21:58
Yeah. Oh, yeah. That's all I've ever tried to do. Honestly? Yeah. In looking back and something that I recommend to grow their women who are our enduring the fire service is to really cheer the department that has a strong foundation of women. The history of women. It's a well established group of women. I know it sounds good to be the first or the second, but you are going to be fighting an uphill battle and just being alone. It's such a lonely career. It can be such a lonely career for a woman, and it doesn't have to be. So if you have the ability to choose the department, it has other women. I suggest that even coming from me, who is an introvert and doesn't prioritize socializing or really even work friendship. I did think it so important to have that network of support, or just someone that understands what you're going through.

spk_0:   22:51
Yeah, Back in. You know, years ago I wouldn't have understood that. You telling me that I'd be like, Yeah, yeah, lady one ever. But now, knowing what we know now, it is amazing how much wiser you can become and see the value in it hints. That's why I started this whole her brotherhood mission coming from the sort of ideology and what I learned. So absolutely. That's really advice.

spk_1:   23:11
And it's so great. Rick sings your episodes and hearing everyone's stories that are so different but so alike and just really resonating with all of the experiences. Even though, like I said, you know, Oh, the details are different, But they're all saying right, it's really good to reinforce that, you know, we're not around and everyone faces similar struggles and that it's not just me that, you know, rather somebody wrong or whatever. He

spk_0:   23:36
feels like it sometimes. Oh, man, you can go for Like you said, it could be lonely. It could be a lonely job. It can feel like you're on an island, especially when you're becoming a mother, and you're doing these things that you know nobody else on your ship does. Because like it or not, guys, we're different because we breast feed the kids. We have the baby. He's like, Yes, that is always gonna be a difference. No matter how much equality we fight for. There's always going back to prison so and We can't bash it over people's heads and expect every man to see it the same because not even every woman sees it the same. So Ryan. Oh, and right, that's it's a real struggle to get through it. At this point. You still just had your first son

spk_1:   24:12
yet. I just had him. This is the thing. Time then, my first mayor started falling apart. It just did not survive the transition of becoming a full time firefighter career firefighter. My son's father and I divorced. I was six, No mom, a single mom who work 24 hours and was off 48. And so I was so thankful for the schedule then because it was so great to have those two days just devote wholeheartedly to being a mom and nothing else. On the flip side, in my younger years, when I was a single mom, that schedule was ideal. But you know now, when I have blended family and more than one child, it was absolutely not ideal

spk_0:   24:55
that I really like in the early years to like when they're really little. I mean, something definitely changes. So like when I first had my son and I went back to work regular, and I would leave for weeks at a time for a fire assignment. And, you know, I had my mom and dad and my sister to help me out. And when they're really little, it's different than when they get bigger, like around that 34 year old, you know. So even if you're fighting off your own guilt and emotions, there's that point where they realize, like, wait a minute, Where you going? Mom, you know where they're not just worried about being fed and changed anymore, and they start to see it, too. Then, no matter how hard you're trying, that takes an entirely different twist on your heart.

spk_1:   25:36
It really does. It really does it. It's different when your child doesn't lays in your district, you know, because it's one thing is you're in your district and you could just go to a baseball game or go

spk_0:   25:48
on one of

spk_1:   25:48
them at school or just pop by. But when you know you're going through a divorce and your son and his father with outside of your spots areas and and then the that's another piece of that is, let's say you're working on a holiday that Thanksgiving and your crew, all of their wives and their Children come and it's just you just, you know, it was just me for so many holidays and so many family gatherings because they're coming and they're they're bringing our family to the firehouse, which is which is what we all do. It's what you have todo. But when you're going through time like that, and you are totally allow, it's really, really difficult. So

spk_0:   26:31
I think child custody and divorce, those discussions and these professions could almost feel like it should dedicate a whole episode just to that, because L yeah, it's so difficult and something that I'm still living. And, you know, then you go into the shared custody, and when you have, ah, shift work, you know, like you do and you've got this set schedule, it can really throw things off, especially when your ex is a firefighter like mine. And you both have these wonky schedules and you know you may not. If you have say you have a week on week off thing and then that doesn't line up with your schedule, it could be a long time before you see your child just based on a custody schedule. So I think I have to go deeper into that at some point.

spk_1:   27:11
Yeah, I think 30 year. I think that's because we feel alone and it and it is so difficult. And and I think that that would be a great thing to focus on. And it's from this doctor right now, what with the Corona virus on, um, you know, the self quarantine and everything that my husband is firefighter. And so he, of course, is still going to work every third day. My job has changed a little bit and that I'm able to work from home unless I get detailed in for a specific reason. But we are really, truly, constantly exposed. And so my son is with his dad right now, and I want him to come home. But, oh, so it's just not the right thing. It's very selfish of me to demand that because he's safe and healthy Dad and my husband, I wre in and out of the trenches, and that's just silly to bring him to my house just because I miss him, you know. But again, that's the reality. And I'm missin and

spk_0:   28:09
it's an amazing hard that you say that because you know, I don't necessarily share pieces about my experience, what I'm going through right now just cause I try to respect the process of what my custody stuff is. But what you're saying right now is resonating with me so hard at the moment because my son's father is also a firefighter and he is seen patients. Every shift and my perp pose that same thing, saying, You know, I just really feel like it would be safer for him to be with me at the ranch, isolated just for now, until we get through this and then you can make up your time with them later. And, you know, I offered the role, and to me, it just like what you're explaining. It just made total sense, and it just felt right and the right thing to just propose. But he didn't agree, so, you know, and that's a whole other story. But like you just said, you just felt selfish doing that. And I appreciate you talking about that.

spk_1:   28:59
Well, Cory, yeah, it's hard to have to come outside of yourself and say, you know, This isn't about me. It's about our child And where he healthiest, very safest. And the truth is right now, not at my home. Because my husband, I like I said they're both in the next, still, And it will be that way unless we get a tick or until this is over. So the best place for him is to be out of all the possibility they

spk_0:   29:26
don't necessarily some great insight. Thank you for sharing that with us. Yeah, so taken back to we don't skip too far forward. Back in. Our current reality is that we could talk, huh? You're at this department. You you just got on there is the other woman, and you go through all that stuff. And then, um, take me to your marriage. Didn't survive that transition and s o take me beyond that

spk_1:   29:48
long three short first apartment that I worked. Or really, I loved working there. It was a small city. I thought a good amount of fire I love so much. I was on a really aggressive engine company, had a really great captain who was true firefighter. And, you know, if you like training and he liked exploring and teaching, and it was a good fit. But there was another cap. Then on a shift in a different house that I came into contact with this because it was the nature of the small department. And, you know, we got three hit tripled around just by having to fill vacancies on the other assignment. So he started messaging me and, you know, wanting to go up the lines out to dinner. And and that's not what I wanted. You didn't want to do that. Not a little minor. This is actually after here. We're divorced now. Single. He was not that That that wasn't a factor in my decision. As you didn't want to you, you know, like you just don't

spk_0:   30:43

spk_1:   30:43
me. I don't want to you so you wouldn't stop. He was not. Was not taking no for an answer.

spk_0:   30:48
And what was his position again?

spk_1:   30:50
Hey, was the captain okay? Yeah, he was a calf, and, um, I cold my captain, but this is happening. I thought other people locked in other people, like my entire crew because he would text me and was kind of unashamed about it. They would just say, Oh, gosh, Yeah, that stallion.

spk_0:   31:10
That's just go use that sold. So

spk_1:   31:13
that's how it is. That what he does not surprise. And he has, I don't know, he was married then, but if he was in a serious relationship and obviously been girl whatever, though,

spk_0:   31:25
you weren't the first that he'd been pulling this on

spk_1:   31:27
No, no. But ultimately what happened is that he just wouldn't stop. And I kept telling them, you know, he's still messaging me. Still acting, meeting, telling me we're going to go out and he wants to hang out out of work. And I don't want to do that and they wouldn't do anything. They didn't do anything about it.

spk_0:   31:43
Did they feel like it wasn't aggressive enough for like it wasn't? Well, he hasn't done anything physically like

spk_1:   31:48
that. So in looking back on it, I was so naive, and I didn't want to make it a deal out of anything, and so I wasn't pushing about it. I would say, Oh, my gosh, you detect me. We've had a common dorm room. My whole crew slept in one open room, so it was like a slumber party and, you

spk_0:   32:07
know, we would be laying in bed

spk_1:   32:08
and coffee together, like, you know, looking at YouTube videos or whatever. And so, as Thalia, we detected me again. I read out loud, so it wasn't a secret. Buying means that also wasn't really picking Seriously.

spk_0:   32:19
Yeah. Then it kind of became a running joke. I'm sure.

spk_1:   32:22
Cab. So he didn't stop, and I told him that I wasn't going to go out and ever and I didn't I didn't want to talk about it anymore. I wasn't comfortable working with And because that was what was focusing on was this idea that we were gonna hang out out of work, whatever. So he didn't stop, so I blocked him in and blocking. His contacted, blocked his work. Email. Look, I didn't realize that dumb patrons and openly happened is I missed emails from 10 that was sent out to everyone. I don't even remember what it was about. But I just remember that I was reprimanded because I didn't know what to do something. I didn't have some piece of information, and it was because I blocked him. Brain it contact. I run trouble for

spk_0:   33:06
that. It just baffles my mind cause, like the's air, the ramification rip ripples that happen. You end up being the one that gets in trouble when they're just looking at this symptom of a much different problem. We're not addressing that cause. It's way easier to address busting her because she didn't respond or know about this email instead of maybe going back and be like, Well, why didn't she know about this? Yeah, you know,

spk_1:   33:29
and they knew. I mean, I could've been why I had to block in. Hey, won't You won't stop. We won't leave me alone and blocking him it blocked, you know? And I didn't realize that I should be able to block his email. If he has, no one else is going to make it stop.

spk_0:   33:42
Right? And was their respect given to that communication when you talked about?

spk_1:   33:46
No, no. The culture of Mr Carney Hawass and possibly still is It's just very good old boy system, their oldest buddy. They've been body three years, and they argue they are, and it is what it is.

spk_0:   33:58
So little girl's not gonna come in here. And russell l. A. Right?

spk_1:   34:02
Yeah. The writing was on the wall without situation. I just felt very unsupportive just kind of isolate him because, well, first of all, I never bought any trouble before. I always tried so hard I wanted to do right and always

spk_0:   34:17
right. And that right there can knock you off kilter. So far,

spk_1:   34:20
Yeah, it really, really did. I also wanted become the work and do my job and go home. I didn't want to have to deal with stuff like this, but it was just calm pounding and I was very, very unhappy, and I invited that. If something was gonna happen about it, then I was going to resign because I knew that either had to make a huge deal in order to make it stop or enough. Not what I wanted. I didn't want attention. I don't want to forget about that. I didn't I didn't want to do that. So So I decided to resign, and I knew that would be able to find a job somewhere else. And it wasn't the end of the line for me, but it was

spk_0:   34:55
Well, don't Hillary. How many great people are lost? How many women are lost in these jobs? Not retaining out? It's one thing. If they're even recruited, then if they're recruited. But then they're out retained and they go away silently into the mist. Oh, my God. No one ever even knows

spk_1:   35:11
it happened so much. And then you hear about Oh, well, she resigned. Or in the

spk_0:   35:16
twister could heroin? Yeah,

spk_1:   35:18
exactly. It's always it's never, never anybody because they didn't take accountability in the first place. So why would they take accountability after that?

spk_0:   35:26
Right, unless you do some giant Mike drop unless you go out, you know, blazing or less, you file some huge lawsuit. No one ever knows that there's the stats are so much higher than people that go out silently. And I'm glad that you're talking about that because we need to hear from or who are like, Yes, I left this place. We don't even have to say where it was or who it was. But look, here's a really strong asset to any department, and somebody doesn't have her now because she had to leave, and that's what she felt she ethically needed to do.

spk_1:   35:53
And it's bad because I loved I loved working there and that they'll say that and I still really, really like some of the people that still work here, and I still have a good working relationship with them. And we do. You collaborate on things and information, but But that guy is been promoted. Two of Italian chief, we sort of go back a little bit. When I resigned, I put in, like, a two months notice because we were already short. That and we're getting ready to hire. And I didn't want Thio

spk_0:   36:21
you cared about were dying, not much. And your ethics and integrity were that hide or like I'm leaving because you guys were so terrible. But I'm going to give you a really big heads up just so that I can take care of you. That's because you are.

spk_1:   36:33
That is exactly what I did because I didn't. I've been on engine company with riding three people for almost a year because we were short back and it was hard. It was safe. I mean, I did it. I mean, the job is hard and unsafe, but it didn't have to be that way, so I didn't want to put us again back in that position immediately by resigning out of the blue after they had just hired. So I went ahead and I told the chief that I was going to be resigning and this is the date. And the other thing was where they're getting ready to buy a new here. And I didn't want him to wait $2000 on getting here for me that I wouldn't wear ever.

spk_0:   37:09
I'm that's how much you cared. You cared about the big picture and you care because there were people in that department that weren't bad and you weren't trying to burn a lamb and did you? Did you ever tell them why you were resigning?

spk_1:   37:20
I would very vague about it. So with the chief, I had very big about it. I know it. I feel like a different That was a lifetime ago, almost like a different person. Because now I'm so direct about what my needs are, what is important to me. And it's probably as a result of this journey that

spk_0:   37:39
happen every It always depends. I never fault anyone for, you know, I'm a push people and be like you need to do this. You need to stand up for you know you should have, but I know from experience it does not always feel like you can or you should or no protected. I totally hear you.

spk_1:   37:55
It's such a moral conflict because you carry this weight of representing all women and fighting the good fight and being the singular person in a situation like this for the first person that this has happened Thio. And so you want to make it right and you want to do good for all women. They're going to come after you, Will. You also just don't want the attention and just wanna have a good life and just want to enjoy your job. And you can't have both of those things if it's always gonna be defined. Because if I called out every injustice that I have experienced at work, it would just be easy. I

spk_0:   38:29
have a layer on top of these. Definitely had a lot more things, eh? Didn't speak up about 10 things that I did. And a lot of people don't realize that there's usually a lot that builds up and write like you did. You're like I'm stepping away from this place. I'm gonna find a better place. And ah, lot of us have done that many times in our career like you have, and nobody even knows about it. And then it's that one time where you do or you're someplace where you want to stay, Like where I stepped away from the department. It's because I was in a place where I wasn't gonna leave this where my family was. And people would say, like, you know, why don't you? Just leadership there is terrible. Why don't you transfer? You know, our promote howto wherever and I'm like, No, this is where I'm taking a stand. This is where I'm not tolerating it anymore. Yeah, you know, So everybody's got a different reason for that Trigger hitting. A lot of times we just walk away. We move on to something better,

spk_1:   39:15
right? Yeah. So that's what I did. And actually, just recently. So this is probably eight years ago. Police 555 here. The recently in the news that the Fire Department was in the news for recruit abuse. Um, their chief was let go, and they blamed it all on him. And I kind of blacked myself like Okay, that's

spk_0:   39:37
nothing. Forget to

spk_1:   39:38
a Paul, you know, he has nothing to do with it. They obviously just wanted him out. And so they blamed the obvious on him. But anyway, you know, that was my perspective from that situation. So my chief said, Why everything, You know, don't go going on. I mean, he was kind of untouchable to me. Now I'm much more comfortable vocalizing things, my command. But then is a young new person. I was not at all comfortable enough to tell him what was going on. I get that. But the city HR lady, I did tell her and she said either pretty serious allegations. Have you considered filing? Ah, playing that? Yeah. I haven't decided. Not to you, which is lying here right now because I want this to be over that. That's why because I want it to be over and the only way to end it for me to end it and that I'm dealing by walking away. But I did.

spk_0:   40:29
Yeah, well, I respect that. And you everybody's got to do what they've got to do to survive. And ah, here on that. If you look at it like this, so you dealt with that you walked away and you look back. Sometimes you're like, Well, should I have really spoken out because your your thoughts are always like What about the next girl coming up? What do I owe to her? Yeah, What if I didn't speak up? What if you know what? If this hurts somebody else? Absolutely. There's always this guilt, and it's the same with about reporting an assault or anything like that. But then you have to look at it on the long game too, because you had to step away for what was best for you and your child. You stepped away. You were eventually got to a place in a department in a marriage and everything else that is so much better. And now you can come all the way around the horn and share your story to protect women in the future. So,

spk_1:   41:16
yeah, I

spk_0:   41:16
don't feel like you didn't do something about it. Because you're doing something about it right now.

spk_1:   41:21
Yeah, you're right. Thank you. But because I do, I do have trouble on it. I d'oh. But that puts it all into a much better perspective in a much bigger picture. And it makes them looking at it that way. And I appreciate that. Thank you.

spk_0:   41:35
You're welcome. It's not black and white, and you know so to some folks they think it is. But it's just not, and you have to look at, look the long term value and find other creative ways to do good and protect people. And and right now there's people there's gonna be girls, listen to this doesn't matter if it's that department that you were on or another department, they're gonna hear your, you know, your feedback and what you did. And then they're gonna be thinking about that. So you're actually, in the end, you're affecting a lot of departments and improving a lot of departments, cause I think that something that is more powerful than anything that could ever be on paper, anything that could ever be in a courtroom is social justice. You know, you can throw in a complaint or you can go out with a you know, a letter telling him what all they're doing wrong, and it usually dies right there. It's so hidden round up in paperwork, and but if you go and you talk about it out loud, where other people are hearing it, that brings justice the two things nowadays, a lot faster than some of the official capacities. Not saying still don't do the official things, but sometimes this special stuff actually makes a lot more change.

spk_1:   42:36
Yeah, you're right. You are. You're absolutely right. That's so sure. I never looked at it that way.

spk_0:   42:41
Yeah, Course.

spk_1:   42:43
So then what I did was I went to work for a department where I knew all the guys. I'm also a CPAP proctor. So a huge majority of the people at factory that work with me work for one department at the broken department in Louisville. I went and work there because I had already known them for a long time. I knew that they had respectful, responsible working relationship with me already and that I was not gonna have to deal with any of that stuff that I had to deal with before because very safe, the four days in going to work there. And that is exactly how it was. I mean, everyone was great as I knew they would be. That was a non issue. By this time, I had met my husband and we were dating. And then we found out the weird part, which was great and exciting. And I started which are navigating that that waters together. He worked for. We still dies a neighboring department. We were on the same shift as I mentioned before, so it was really fun, because whenever I had a fire, he would be there because of my automatic aid agreement. So I didn't have to work with him for 24

spk_0:   43:52
hours that I work

spk_1:   43:53
with him on the fund,

spk_0:   43:54
Our adjacent Lee to each other,

spk_1:   43:56
right? Yeah, they were great. It was an adventure. I know. It was really, really good when I found out I was pregnant and I went to the department head and told them they said it. Okay, so we've never gotten a full. We're gonna have to figure this out like that. Okay. I've

spk_0:   44:12
never done this before. They didn't have never had a female firefighter Blang

spk_1:   44:17

spk_0:   44:17
has had

spk_1:   44:18
I think it had a female firefighter before. It was a combination department. So there didn't any female volunteer E and I think there had only been one career female firefighter before, but certainly she was ever pregnant. What? You

spk_0:   44:32
were you were currently being paid paid firefighter. Okay? And then before you found out that you were pregnant. Were you already aware of what your options would be? Or was that something you needed to find out that you had to explore after?

spk_1:   44:45
No, I did not. So I had. The structure of this department is different than the structure of the department worked for before when I worked for now, but I worked for 32 of whom are he's. This one was a suburban fire district. So in Kentucky, it's called Chapter 75. This is a fire protection district, which is essentially governed by a board of trustees. So now where my big box, of course, is the mayor there It was a conglomerate of a board of trustees, again, being kind of naive in thinking that everything is almost always the same. It is. All policies are different from agency to agency, and this was one of those circumstances. So this agency was so small in that there were only 12 full time paid staff and I was one of the 12 and I was coming from somewhere where there was a little bit more maybe like 50 or 60. So but in only having 12 they did not have a light duty. They didn't have the staff to cover to cover that someone went off injured. But my platform was so I'm not injured. I'm not hurt. I'm having a baby, Right? The baby's coming in January. There's an actual end date today.

spk_0:   46:03
Can you believe?

spk_1:   46:04
I don't know if I'm ever gonna get better there. Great. You know the thing with immeasurable period times,

spk_0:   46:11

spk_1:   46:11
And it's also not an injury. I don't need not be at work. I just need some kind of modified duty in your adjustment or something. But in that the fire Department is governed by a board of trustees. The border trustees meet once a month. Gang did not know how to manage the situation,

spk_0:   46:32
so they had any other monthly meeting. And they're talking about you this higher. Okay, so we got this girl and she's gonna have a baby. What are we gonna d'oh

spk_1:   46:41
right? And also, I think it's important to note that the border trustees, these people there too I think that we're firefighters and then the rest of them, our property owners and business owners in the community,

spk_0:   46:55
adjusting holders have

spk_1:   46:56
no background. They don't know you know, whatsoever. Really? What? What the job entails or the sense of urgency that goes behind making a decision like this. Ultimately, room, I mean, I don't know if they drag their feet or if whore

spk_0:   47:11
among you know, they are worried that they were terrified of you, right? Yeah. I mean, what in what year was this?

spk_1:   47:17
This would be the year before last. It

spk_0:   47:20
was so confident. It'd be crazy.

spk_1:   47:23
Mean, Yeah. So 2017 I guess she was born in January 18.

spk_0:   47:27
They're still there. Guys were still right there. Where? We don't know. What the hell to D'oh! Oh, my God. A woman's gonna have a baby. But this is why I depart. Like this is why some places and some groups and some cultures air still terrified. Or they don't like having women work there Because of this, it's still we're ready here to 2020 right now, there's still a lot of employers. They don't know what they're going to dio. If a woman becomes pregnant, it makes her an anomaly. If she's in a profession that is so male dominated and it's just it's not because they're trying to be jerks It's just it's just where we're at. It's where we still are at in some places, and if they because you only learn something by experiencing it, you know, it's on the job training. And if they haven't experienced having a gal in the department that had, you know, that's the only way they really learned. And so right, that's crazy to me. But not surprising.

spk_1:   48:15
It is crazy to me, also a core.

spk_0:   48:18
So you've got to be a guinea pig, the trainer. And, you know, he came all their experience, and now you get to be the one to help them learn

spk_1:   48:24
you how. But even though I was the 1st 1 to work there, I'm not the first time in the universe

spk_0:   48:30
in the world you know, I'm not the

spk_1:   48:32
first pregnant firefighter ever in the history of the planet right there either, Aidan, that we can wreak out you. Hey, how do you How did you will navigate

spk_0:   48:40
their work, you know?

spk_1:   48:42
Yeah, they're multiple re forces and people who have been there before. And unfortunately, one of those people with my union president a female Wait

spk_0:   48:52
a minute. She was a female when this happened you had a female union president.

spk_1:   48:56
Okay, so

spk_0:   48:57
yes. So let me clarify that

spk_1:   48:59
we've had in you We had a union or all of this suburban department. So it wasn't just, well, mine it was for I think there was about 12 men and it was not a recognized union. So even though it is an established I s a group, it isn't, You know they don't have bargaining rights. Very few people were members for that reason. But I have always been the union and always believe in in the board of the Union. And so I was a union member, and so I reached out to her and she really, really helped me navigate it because she had navigated the same thing at her department when she had her son. She was either the first or the 2nd 1 to be a full time career firefighter. There wasn't a policy in place, and so she knew exactly She knew she'd walk that walk before she reached out to my chief. And I don't know if she ended up speaking to the board or not, but ultimately, what happened? Waas? I stayed on the truck until I was five months pregnant. Wow. Witches

spk_0:   50:01
by chance

spk_1:   50:02
it Yeah, because it would either that or not have a job that

spk_0:   50:06
I So am I. And in that I don't. And I don't think that's really what I qualified by choice, I think. Yeah. I mean, it was that or not get paid. And so, to me, that really is, actually. Yeah,

spk_1:   50:15
right. Exactly. So I wasn't given every time there was a board meeting. They say, Okay, where were we? We talked idea around, but we haven't come to a decision yet, or no one ever had a solution that was agreed upon by everybody because they kept going back to. But we can't have light duty because we don't have the staff to cover it. But you,

spk_0:   50:35
anyone, that plane and you guys, you guys want to make it difficult for a woman in any employer. Make her the subject of your monthly meeting. That'll shoot her in the disaster. Anything? Oh, my

spk_1:   50:45
God. No kidding. Yeah, No kidding. In the need time. You know, my captain was like, So you can just drive. You can just drive. You don't have to go and buy fire, which is great. if you're or thin or second in. But then, you know, if your good driving company you're going to go in and fight fire, do overhaul. If you can't, you're not going to get a

spk_0:   51:03
pretty sure in. And Trevor CPD, it doesn't say will not go to extreme measures, will not find

spk_1:   51:09
their ever driving. Yeah, that's not but I mean, I do appreciate that on that company level, I was given these alternatives because room, you know, helping me out on some level. And then another really great thing that happened was that my husband, who's working the same shift, but I am and his crew, they start jumping every single run so that no, no,

spk_0:   51:34
I, uh I knows that. See, God, look at that. Camaraderie. You guys

spk_1:   51:41
I know. Well, yeah, it was It was really, really great and honest. Another thing. That bad piece of this is that my husband sergeant who really did that he took the initiative to be That, of course, is my husband, you know, suggesting

spk_0:   51:55
are saying

spk_1:   51:55
Hey, this is this is going on over there. He has he passed away from cancer right before the baby was born like he was diagnosed and then had a very rapid decline and was just a couple of months later passed the way filled darn out. That was really beating. But I think of him fondly and many pieces of my husband's career in mind also. But that always another

spk_0:   52:21
being remember that have gas and mentors like that in your memory, because that's what inspires you to do the right thing in your future.

spk_1:   52:28
Yeah, exactly. And another great thing he did if he would stop the truck in the middle of the road to get out and give a child a fire helmet or a sticker. So he was one of those guys knows no. How about the importance of prevention to And so he carry him with me in my heart every day. Those guys thank goodness for them. They just started jumping every single run. So I didn't have to do down things like extricate people out of cars and, you know, fight fire. Five months pregnant.

spk_0:   52:58
Not so. Me. And you know, I just Googled female firefighter pregnant. And the 1st 2 things that pop up are an article how to deal with the pregnant firefighter. Yeah, fire. Yeah, and they get one right, How to deal with it and then pregnancy and firefighting. Is firefighting bad for your baby? It's like, Oh, my gosh, do fire departments have provided, you know, because not long ago, there was that whole throwdown in what? Florida? That department, that gal who really had the news about it with being pregnant on the truck and all that.

spk_1:   53:28
I remember that.

spk_0:   53:30
Like you said, it's not the first time,

spk_1:   53:32
right? It's not. It's not the first time.

spk_0:   53:34
So they're jumping calls. All that's going on.

spk_1:   53:36
Yeah, And my crew, they're taking a load off me as much as they can so that I don't have to do all the all the Tracy things, you know. But the mental emotional toll it is really wearing on me and also again here comes back feeling again of not feeling supported by my administration. And here I am again in this situation where well, we haven't had a woman before or this is just the way it's always been a gap to it, you know, figure it out on your own. And

spk_0:   54:02
I were trying to light a problem. Yeah, you're just trying to beer. Human being.

spk_1:   54:08
Yeah, I was taking a toll on me. You know, It was a lot. It was a lot to navigate. And And also, I mean, I just was constantly overthinking everything like, Well, what carcinogens and my exposing myself to like What? Is this too hot? Just all these things. Like, how is the baby? Okay, is the baby okay? Is the baby of aid not knowing? And

spk_0:   54:28
you people are paranoid like that on a regular basis and is a secretary. Yes. So you throw this out there and there is no book. There's no, like right. What's doing? Yeah.

spk_1:   54:38
So finally I get in the fifth month. It was they made a decision. They wrote some policy that said and they didn't even know it time. And I don't know if they do now, but it's not. It wasn't even a legal policy, but anyway that it said from here forward, we will not because they didn't have any policy. Any light beauty policy. They didn't have one

spk_0:   55:00
in which, you know, I mean, I will give him this like every policy that we've ever come up with in any organization always happens because they ran into the issue, right? And then they are right now we got to write a policy. So I mean, I I this is when their very best trampling on it and okay,

spk_1:   55:16
yeah, I understand that for sure. But they were hyper focusing on this light duty issue and the injury based flight duty, and that is not what it woz. And so that was really troubling for me because I was, like, stop tryingto address like, non existent issue and like you,

spk_0:   55:33
Lis, you want to turn it into a menagerie in that because that's the kind of mine who was a correctional officer. She's still, you know, they've come out on top and a lot of her stuff, but she was still at the prison and something happened. She lost her baby really far into her pregnancy, and she's been in court with now a whole group of women in California. But because of this right here and then and we're talking about the State of California Correctional Department didn't have it figured out. You know, so little department out there, it's just crazy. It's we're in 2020 now, and but it's still happening.

spk_1:   56:04
It is crazy. But a good thing that came the following year, I believe will in 2019 was that Kentucky adopted Pregnant Workers Act mandate that pregnant workers must be offered alternative OPP duties if they're in. If they work a job, that is not conducive. Thio sustaining a healthy pregnancy even they must be offered some kind of modifications that they're not doing unreasonable work.

spk_0:   56:30
Yeah, that's excellent.

spk_1:   56:31
Forgive me, altering with outward there that the great thing that look, whatever the verge of that policy policy is that fire department. But

spk_0:   56:40
I guarantee you that came out of a lawsuit that came out of something that really pushed them to push that, you know, it didn't just It's really hard to get an organization to be proactive, to look out ahead. And, you know, they're just still trying to catch up with whatever other lawsuits and policy issues they have. So all right, I mean, we got to be is proactive. You can, especially with something that women have been doing since the beginning of time. Yeah, like that's not being proactive. That's just being I don't know,

spk_1:   57:05
I know. But also, you know, the image of the Fire Department is being such a family centered organization. And oh, we you know, we rally around families and that feel important to it. But yet you're not embracing this situation that is all about a healthy family. I don't know. I just I again felt very and supported in a different element than I had felt before. But still

spk_0:   57:27
you're talking about the women's auxiliary side of things. You see, when we talk about family friendly, you know, that's when that traditionally falls back to like, Well, I'm sorry When we said family, we mean like, the whole family comes out to the picnics like the women bring the kids, you know? That's kind of that. Yet that traditional part,

spk_1:   57:43
right? So I was just thinking That probably is not good for me because I'm not really. I don't really know how I feel about now. It's hard to say, not necessarily the direct leadership, because again it's the board of directors making border trust either making decision to our, you know, out of the picture. But this the agonizing wait of Oh, you didn't decide anything, and I have to wait a whole other month. This is crazy

spk_0:   58:08
Yeah, how the baby's growing. I mean, it's no secret what your timeline is,

spk_1:   58:12
right? So they finally made a decision that they would give me mod modified duty. That's what they did. I worked, and I worked during the day that really don't even remember what my schedule was like. But I was given duty that do not include heavy lifting or any kind of being in an ideal age environment. I would still make the med run with my chief if there was, you know, they would keep your cool or something. I wasn't in and ideally, environment anymore, and that was good. But shortly after that, I had some complications. And so my doctor pulled me from work anyways, so would have been a non issue. And it was modified. Duties didn't last very long as it was.

spk_0:   58:50
But that wasn't the point,

spk_1:   58:51
right? I mean, we didn't you know, they didn't know that no one had a crystal ball. This isn't gonna last that long. It'll be fine. So I had had the baby in January of 2008 keen and actually, the day before she was born with the day that I interviewed for my current position. So, yeah. During the course of my maternity leave, I was in the hiring process with Louisville and I

spk_0:   59:15
We can say that this was all motivating you to put in for other jobs. Yeah. What? Yeah,

spk_1:   59:20
the truth. I took the position with Louisville and I started working there when grimmer was about. She was about, I think, three or four months old. So that's where I am today,

spk_0:   59:32
So great.

spk_1:   59:33
Yeah. Yes. Oh, finally, Although I went through that so much life, change it at once. Having a baby switching agencies from one job functions is something very different. It has come full circle now where I work for a very progressive, very supportive command staff that embraces ideas. And I feel supportive and supported. And I feel valued and that,

spk_0:   1:0:00
well, that's what I wanted to point out was that you had to leave to department. So there were right. There were two departments that lost you as a very I keep thinking oven an asset. You are such an asset to those departments because they didn't make you feel welcome. And it wasn't things that you were asking for that were anywhere outside of normal. You know, you didn't feel comfortable in those departments for different reasons. And so you moved on. And that's I have to say, The cliche thing is that that is their loss.

spk_1:   1:0:30
Yeah, it's bad, because as a woman, you often feel like you're being really high maintenance. I'm just acting for regular and vocalizing get regular regular me, not necessarily leniency. But if you have,

spk_0:   1:0:45
it's like a human right terms. Is dust

spk_1:   1:0:47
right? Like a pregnancy or privacy or even proper fitting P p E. I mean, we have needs that are specific to being a woman. And if you're made to feel like you are being excessively high maintenance and vocalizing those, it could be caused a lot of separations,

spk_0:   1:1:03
something that just came to my mind, something like, Oh, yeah, it's the whole minority thing And I hate just that being the word. But, you know, yeah, one gallon, the group of whole bunch guys. But I just started thinking about my kids baseball team that I coach. He's a lefty, and we don't have a whole bunch of lefties, right? And it's always a pain in the rear is like, Oh, all right, do we have a left glove? Do we have a left? Captures. You know, where we go? We go somewhere we're gonna Hey, let's play catch. Okay. Hey, there's a bunch of gloves of your great Well, is there a left handed glove? Oh, no. Well, sorry, my kid either can't throw. He's going. They're gonna be horrible at it. Or you just can't play, you know? And it's this thing. You throw a chick in the middle of a bunch of dudes in a department or whatever else it is, and then just cause you need a left hand, admit now you feel like a pain in the rear. Yeah, you know, And it's true. It's the same thing, right? But Lefty's treated better. That seems to be a little more accepted than having a kid. God, Oh, man, I'm so glad that you've ended up in a place where you feel like you can really thrive and and even in a place where you feel like you can have this this conversation in a public forum, that's something that says a lot because you'd be amazed how many people out there terrified to talk about what color the sky is because they don't trust the organization they're working with, and they don't feel that free.

spk_1:   1:2:12
Yeah, it took me a really long time, and it still is scary. But it's important, and things that are important aren't always easy. So I feel, and also in my position is a CPAP proctor. I get to interact. So now it's mandatory in the state of Kentucky that anyone who wants to be a full time career firefighter have to take the sea pat. So I interact with almost every female in the state to is in the hiring process number or thinks they want to be. So I get you get to know them off her level and in coach them and guide them and give them some protest. You

spk_0:   1:2:48
know, if you're a minute were that important,

spk_1:   1:2:50
Yeah, I tried to be as best I can, depending on you know, their willingness to open up or whatever, but

spk_0:   1:2:59
that's great. That's

spk_1:   1:2:59
something that I really, really made clear, that I think it really important that you go to work for an agency that has a history or a foundation of women because you think it's a noble thing to fight that fight, but it's going to become the only thing that you do. Yeah, and if you want to go to work and do your job and go home, you're not gonna be able to do that on agency where you are the first and Orel women and then Kentucky, that just such a where we are right now, we're way. We're far behind other parts of the country where that ratio is closer. We

spk_0:   1:3:35

spk_1:   1:3:36
fire prevention in Louisville. I'm the only woman, so that's fine with me. It's not always been that way there. There been a lot of women and fire package in the front. Now I'm the only one. And in Louisville, for the department as a whole, I think they're almost 500 others, and there are only about maybe 10 or 12 women total.

spk_0:   1:3:54
Even that makes me think that job. That's really great numbers. Yeah, you know, and then there are a lot of departments that are growing by leaps and bounds and which is a great thing, and I believe that women need Thio deserve the position. There's no doubt I don't like like him to see be righted for the numbers and you know that's important to you is because somebody will hear this and be like, Well, shoot now I'm already at one of those crappy departments or one that's not progressive or one that doesn't have a good female base. And you know, the important thing is is that if you do find yourself there, you end up on a department that is that way is reaching out like you were saying to a mentor, finding your tribe, finding someone, and that's why we're doing all this social media stuff is because if I do the Wildfire Women group that I have because the same thing in wild land fire like there were few and far between, and we just never got to have conversations like the one we're having right now at your own department or your own location. So if you find yourself on that island, just find your tribe, reach out, whether it's social media or whatever it is because you're not alone in the grand scheme.

spk_1:   1:4:52
That's so true. Yeah, and I don't want it. Sounds like you're shooting yourself in the foot. If you make a decision to work for an agency like that or if you are already with blend, because there are only benefits to being. You know, every agency is different, and they're all great for their own reasons, So it's not necessarily a bad thing. But if you

spk_0:   1:5:10
you have a choice

spk_1:   1:5:12
pretty specific about what your needs are, you know going into it that you need to be supportive and you need to do what you said. Either make sure that you find or established that try that network or you go into one where it's already there,

spk_0:   1:5:26
right? Well, every discipline out there is attracting. You know that because they can go recruit him all they want. But you have to retain him and whether it's police department eyes military. I mean, women are seeking out the ones that have the reputation for the good and going away from the ones that are bad. I mean, so if a department out there wants to attract high performing women to fill those positions, you just got to get the reputation by doing the right thing, and then they will come to you,

spk_1:   1:5:51
right? I agree.

spk_0:   1:5:53
Well, it has been a pleasure to chat with you. I've got to say,

spk_1:   1:5:56
Yeah, thank you so much. I feel honored to be with you, and you tell my stories. They seem so small and

spk_0:   1:6:04
holder or not

spk_1:   1:6:06
insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But they definitely chased me into who I am and also help me find my voice and just be very clear and direct about what I need barring and be unchained that they need.

spk_0:   1:6:18
Well, that's really great. That's not It's not just the news stories we need or the court cases that we need to talk to. We need women like you are like, I feel like my stories were so small. It's like, No, your whole life experience is exceptional and people need to hear from you.

spk_1:   1:6:32
Oh, my gosh. Well, again, thank you so much for having me.

spk_0:   1:6:35
Well, I'm just so glad you've been here, and I hope that you guys get through this Corona thing fast and you get to see your kid. Oh, soon. And I hope it all goes well. How is it going there in your community for all of this?

spk_1:   1:6:46
Oh, my gosh. Kentucky is doing really well, Kentucky things to be doing really well were we have a governor who's very communicate days and touches in every day, five o'clock. You have to press conference and updates us on how where numbers are. So we're doing the best we can. It's just so difficult because the entire world is learning about this virus more and more every day. We're all just kind of taking it one day at a time, and that's all that we can do. And then as an agency, we're doing the same thing. I just city and maybe we were doing the same thing. So we have two guys who have had positive Covad night scene tech come back and then their cruise air self quarantining. But we just argue that house enacted specific that they include on defect so that they note a where the appropriate PP. If it's a suspect of Little Cove in 19 case, so going into it, we at least have that leads up to where, where post pc, protect ourselves a little bit more. And

spk_0:   1:7:48
then we

spk_1:   1:7:48
adjusted our our numbers in terms of we only have two people going in on these runs a supposed to all four, so we're doing the best we could and or there's some of us feel like we could be doing better. Do more. But again, we're all just finding our way as we go along together.

spk_0:   1:8:08
The right one. Ah, well, definitely be a year We never forget. That's for so

spk_1:   1:8:12
I know it, I know it, I know. But I just trying Thio, you know, be at home with the Children and help him keep up with their schoolwork while also working from home. It's a lot. It's a lot, but it's also so beautiful seeing our community come together in their own withdrawn way.

spk_0:   1:8:31
Whether it it is it one of these difficult times. But one of the neatest times I think we're going to see in our generation.

spk_1:   1:8:37
Yeah. I mean, I loved seeing we've had some really great weather over the last week and seeing families out, walking together and playing and drawing on the sidewalk and chalk. And

spk_0:   1:8:48
I mean, I taught my kid how to carry the one and arrow from the other number, you know? So I mean, it's like that. Judges hear

spk_1:   1:8:54
it. Amazing. I mean, back to big deal right

spk_0:   1:8:57
there. I can't believe a big

spk_1:   1:8:59
you know, we're taking it. We're doing the best we can. We, um my bureau has is working from home right now so that we're not that close and personal at headquarters like we usually are. So And then if we have, ah, specific assignment, do we need to get detailed out? Seeing that happens that we're not all reporting to headquarters all day long, Like we usually do.

spk_0:   1:9:19
Well, good. Good night. You're all those things. I hope you guys stay safe. And I hope, you know, and keep me updated. If there's ever anything you want to share or do a conversation later and because I think that I think we almost need to do, like, a few different just focused on being pregnant in the fire service, being pregnant service, you know, like one. That's just all about that. So when someone looks it up, they confined that interview.

spk_1:   1:9:41
I think they're here. Look, I did the same thing you did with Google that

spk_0:   1:9:46
had were all creating the good lamb wheel every time,

spk_1:   1:9:50
right? And so yeah, I think we should definitely used to come up with the restored so that people have that.

spk_0:   1:9:57
Well, I feel like we're all coats on each other all the time, world mentoring each other. But we are recreating the wheel every time and departments are doing the same thing. So, yeah, I think that Yeah, you might do that. If I do an episode like that, I would love to have you come back.

spk_1:   1:10:09
Yeah, that would be great at a lot of cricket debating that.

spk_0:   1:10:12
Well, thank you. All right, well, with that, I'm gonna let you get back to your day. Okay? Thank you. All right. Thanks for being here. We'll talk to you soon, okay? Already, but bye bye. That is all we have for today's episode. I just want to say what an honor it is to spend this time with you. I know they're truly many challenges facing everyone right now, No matter your profession or personal situation, every single person in this world is feeling the effect of this pandemic. And though it's absolutely what they signed up for, our first responders, including every branch, the military and all workers and every occupation who are risking exposure to provide a vital service is to the public deserve a true nod from all of us. Toe all of you out there from the bottom of my heart. I thank you and please, if you weren't already, please followed the health recommendations. And let's get through this as quickly and safely as possible. If you appreciate this podcast in the her brother had mission, I could use your help keeping it moving forward on the inspirational pace. It is, especially in this time. You can become a patron of patriot dot com or donate via PayPal. Both of those links are in the show notes. And if wearing merch, drinking from one of our cops are grabbing a sticker is how you'd like to show your support. Their links to that, too. I'm loving my new shirts and sweatshirts, the guys in my life or even sporting them. And I have to say it really warms my heart to see men young. And I'll say not so young supporting women who put their lives on the line and my passion to serve as many as I can with her brotherhood. Now go forth, do good and lead with fire