The women who put out fires

by Mary Helen Darah

Andrea Henck of the Sylvania Township Fire Department did not aspire to be a firefighter. “I graduated from high school with the goal of being an RN,” recalled Henck. “As I got into my core classes and began clinical hours, I quickly found that I did not enjoy the hospital setting as much as I thought I would. At the time my younger brother just got his EMT card and recommended that I should also give it a shot. I jumped at the opportunity as soon as the next class became available and successfully became an EMT/Firefighter. I knew I wanted to be the best I could be and have the highest pre-hospital credentials. I practiced in the field for a year and went straight into getting my Paramedic and Firefighter II card. I haven’t looked back since.”
Henck does not view being one of three females serving the Sylvania Township Fire Department as a challenge. “I don’t necessarily think of being one of the few females as a challenge, but more as a self-motivation in prospering myself,” she stated. “I realize I’m not as strong as most of the men I work with and so I make it a point to work out every shift and do the best I can to get a workout in when I’m home. I’m not looking for special attention and I want to be held to the same standards as the men because my life, my crew’s life, and my patients’ lives rely on my ability to be able to fulfill my job duties.”
When asked to describe the best parts of her job Henck responded, “Everything. I love almost every aspect of my job. I joined this field because of my passion for helping others and being there for those who need us in worst case scenarios,” she said.
She hopes that the community continues to support the department.

Jaime Sesock is also one of the Sylvania Township Fire Department’s female firefighters. Sesock attended college to obtain a degree in nursing. “After high school I went to college for nursing. It wasn’t until I did a clinical at the fire station that I decided to change career paths. The fire station felt like home,” she stated.
Sesock does not focus on being in the minority as a female firefighter. “The job comes with some challenges but each individual firefighter has their strengths and weaknesses. Being female is not an issue,” she said. “We work as a team and train to be ready and able to handle our communities needs.”
The firefighter enjoys her job, the camaraderie with her team and interacting with people. “One of the things I love most about the job is being out in pubic,” she said. “I love it when someone comes up to us and tells us about how thankful they are for our help when they need to call 911.”

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