Women’s History Month Q & A with Brook Tidwell

Firefighter Brook Tidwell, Ladder 209

Q:  When were you hired with Mesa Fire?

A:  I was hired with the Mesa Fire Department in May of 2007.

Q:  Were you the only female in your recruit class? 

A:  I was not the only female in my class.  There was one more with me. 

Q:  What aspects of the fire service attracted you to the career?

A:  The aspects of the job that were interesting to me were things like making my commitment to fitness also part of my job description.  For as long as I can remember I’ve had sports to give me motivation to stay fit.  It was nice to incorporate my lifestyle into my job.  Also, the schedule is great as well as the benefits.  Another great thing about the job is having that second family.  You meet so many great people in this job.  The final aspect of the job that got me interested was the ultimate opportunity to become a paramedic.  I’ve always been interested in Anatomy and Physiology.  Having an opportunity to eventually become a paramedic highly interests me.  I always found the human body fascinating and to be able to learn more about it and use that knowledge at work is a great thing. 

Q:  Do you have a family history in the fire service?

A:  I do have a family history in the fire service.  My dad is a recently retired 30 yr firefighter with the Chandler Fire Department.  My dad also has a few cousins who are retired firefighters with Mesa

Q:  Do you find that people are surprised to find out that you work for Mesa Fire?

A:  I find that people who know me are not surprised I became a firefighter.  Given my background with sports and my personality, it just seemed natural to test for the fire service.  People who don’t know me are initially surprised at first, but most find it very cool!  I had a patient one time look at me and say, “OH! You’re a woman!”

Q:  What words would you have for other females that are considering a career in the fire service? 

A:  If I could give some words of advice to other women who are interested in the fire service it would be to find someone who can help them workout and train for this job specifically.  There are many different kinds of workouts and levels of fitness, but if they aren’t “firefighter fit” it will be much harder to make it through an academy.  Also, come to work with a good attitude.  Definitely be able to laugh at yourself!

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