La Vergne Fire Department welcomes first women firefighters

The year 2014 has been one of change for the La Vergne Fire Department.

Until this year, firefighters were not city employees because the department had always been owned by a private company.

That changed when the city purchased its fire department in January hired new firefighters and eventually added new volunteers to the mix.

Among the group of 50 firefighters are two women, Brittney Barry and Ashley Malone.

“I’m strong. I love to help people. It’s what I was meant to do. That good feeling of knowing that you did something good that day and I like danger, I guess,” Barry told News 2.

Malone’s reason for becoming a firefighter is more personal.

“Back in 2006, we actually had a house fire. Our house burned down and Walter Hill was the department that responded. So me and my brother decided to be firefighters. I waited for him to turn 18 so we could join together at Walter Hill,” said Malone.

Barry and Malone first met in 2012 while working for the Walter Hill Volunteer Fire Department and say they became instant friends.

Fast-forward to July 2014 and the women became the first female firefighters in the history of the La Vergne Fire Department.

“Here in La Vergne we hire firefighters, regardless if they’re female or male,” said La Vergne Assistant Fire Chief, Mike Culberson.

“They’ve done a wonderful job and I’m proud to have them and hope they continue on.”

The women are achieving their dreams of helping others. Malone is also setting an example for her own little girl to follow.

“She loves that I’m a firefighter and wants to be one too. If that’s what she wants to do, I’m behind her 100 percent,” said Malone.

Barry and Malone are currently volunteers for the department but hope to someday become paid firefighters for the City of La Vergne.

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