Three teen girls show that not all millennials are self-absorbed parasites with their phone glued to their hand so they can incessantly exchange emoticons. In Boswell, Pennsylvania, the “three amigos” go running to blazing buildings every time the alarm sounds.
Girls fighting Fires
When people think of fighting fires, the first thing that pops into mind is an image of “firemen.” There is no doubt that is a “male-dominated field” but there are firewomen too.
Three high school girls in Boswell, Pennsylvania are challenging the stereotype.
North Star High School freshman Molly Gontis is a sweet 16 years old but instead of hanging out at the mall she would rather be with her “partners in firefighting.” Liliana Shumaker and Rebecca Slate. Both are 17-year-old juniors.
“You have to be a team, everybody has to work together to have one goal,” Slate insists. “That goal is to get the fire out and have everybody safe.” The very first blaze for the girls involved a historic church. They were all in class when the alert went off.
The girls were diligently paying attention “in class one minute, and rushing to the fire station the next.” The law says they aren’t yet allowed to “enter burning buildings,” but that’s “about the only thing they can’t legally do on the job.”
There is plenty of time for that later in their training. For now they not only get their feet wet, they learn the basics. Some of which are a lot harder lessons than folks like to think about.
Tragedy can take a toll
Witnessing tragedy and horrific injuries firsthand can be traumatic for adult males but it can take a toll on girls, especially at such a young age. Ms. Slate recognizes the reality. “I have seen accidents where people don’t make it,” she relates.
“I’ve seen calls where we get there, they’re alive but they’re not when we leave, and that’s definitely hard to take in because you try to do everything you can to save every life possible.”
The girls picked up the nickname “three amigos,” and they are full fledged volunteer firefighters, “willing to sacrifice to save others.” As Ms. Gontis points out, “I just know that I’m helping someone and that maybe I’m changing their life in a way.
“They will always remember that ride in the ambulance, so what you do definitely impacts everyone around you,” Ms. Shumaker adds.
Last year, at North Star Middle School, Gontis was a member of the “Random Acts of Kindness Club.” Members “do things such as put positive sticky notes on other students’ lockers and place gold pots around the school for students to find and turn in for chocolates.”
Molly noted on the schools website, “We meet every month and have snacks and talk about different ways to spread kindness through the school.” One thing is certain, she and her friends are an inspiration to girls everywhere.