24-year-old Dejah Woods made historical past as Deland’s first-ever Black feminine firefighter. Based in 1876, Deland is a small metropolis situated in Central Florida. The town has skilled many firsts which have distinguished it through the years.
Now, Woods is part of town’s historical past as one in all three girls and 4 numerous people on a 49 member firefighter staff. She’s inspiring a whole era of ladies to develop their profession choices.
“If I might be that particular person to let little women know that there’s a risk that you may be the place I’m at too — that’s positively one thing that I need to do,” Woods instructed NBC.
From Childhood Dream to Firefighter Actuality
Youngsters are usually given the arduous process of attempting to find out what they need to be once they develop up. However for Woods, the choice was easy. She aspired to turn into a firefighter.
Rising up in Volusia County, Woods spent her time taking part in flag soccer. Her feminine coach was married to a firefighter and urged the profession as a attainable choice for Woods.
Group impression has at all times been on the high of Woods’ precedence checklist. Woods set her eyes on pursuing a profession as a firefighter and enrolled in fireplace faculty. She breezed by the exams, utilized for the job, and nailed the interviews.
Deland Fireplace Division Chief Todd Allen commented on Woods’ superior efficiency in the course of the bodily and written checks, in response to a neighborhood information outlet. “We additionally had two panels of interviews we went by, unbiased interviews, however she rose to the highest of each of these,” Allen shared.
Woods is worked up to hitch the division and develop along with her new staff. “Not solely am I enthusiastic about it, you realize, I’ve bought the braveness to need to go right into a burning constructing and save whoever is in there,” Woods says. “I need to be the most effective fireman I might be,” Woods instructed ABC.
Inspiring the Subsequent Technology of Feminine Firefighters
“They are going to say, oh women can do that, oh women can try this,” Woods instructed The West Volusia Beacon. “More often than not, they don’t say, oh, hey, you could be a fireman. No one ever instructed me that rising up. That is simply one thing I got here throughout and discovered that I really like.”
Woods is part of a small group of feminine profession firefighters. In response to 2018 knowledge from the Nationwide Fireplace Safety Affiliation, solely 4% of the firefighters within the nation are girls.
“It might be uncommon for me however the guys welcomed me with open arms. They don’t deal with me any totally different than anybody who has been working right here for 15 years,” Woods instructed CBS.
Woods added, “Plenty of younger women — they don’t get any person telling them that that is one thing they will do,” Woods stated. “Positively feels good. All of it feels good.”