[As seen in Creston News Advertiser December 17, 2015]
The staccato of Darwin West’s voice reverberated throughout the room as he pointed to members of the crowd holding up little white cards. The tension rose, a steady thing you could practically feel in your chest.
Then, it was over. But the tension remained. This tension wasn’t because of a mounting fight among auction-goers. It wasn’t about silly words out of a person’s mouth. This tension was like magic because it increased every time the Creston Fire and Rescue bench went up for bid in the course of one night.
Continue reading Girl on Fire: It’s what we do
[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, April 16, 2015]
A few months ago, I sat on the couch of my friend Nicole Shope watching something on Netflix.
We were talking, and she mentioned she had started buying a comic book series focusing on the life of Kara Zor-El, or Supergirl. I flipped through the pages of one of the comic books, admiring the drawing of the characters, and decided I wanted to start my own comic book series.
Continue reading Girl on Fire: Comics, firefighting blurring gender lines
[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, April 2, 2015]
As I get older, I keep learning new life lessons. Recently, the lesson that has been playing over and over in front of me is that life is short, and we must take chances.
My heart goes out to fellow firefighter Kevin Webb, his son Tanner and their family during such a harsh and sad time.
Continue reading Girl on Fire: Life is short
[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, November 6, 2014]
Ice crystals flickered in the moonlight against the black paint of my car as I left my house and threw open the car door. I tugged my turquoise hat down over my ears, started the car and pulled out of my driveway, trying not to speed on my way into Creston. The blare of my phone still rang in my ears: a 6 a.m. structure fire.
I managed to catch Engine 2 before it pulled out onto North Sumner Avenue. We raced to the scene on East Townline Street before jumping out of the apparatus, grabbing tools and running around to the back of the house with the rest of the guys on-scene.
Continue reading Girl on Fire: My education baby step is taken
[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, October 30, 2014]
Thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, I’ve been able to keep up with what my high school and college friends have been doing since graduation. Many have gotten married and had babies, while others have focused on themselves and climbed the career ladder.
This got me thinking about what I want to do with my future. I’ve so many options, but only one sticks out to me right now: continue my education.
Continue reading Girl on Fire: Baby steps to further education
[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, July 31, 2014]
Monday night I spent three training hours in the company of several other Creston firefighters practicing hooking up to a fire hydrant and laying hose in the event of a structure fire. After training we met at the station and washed fire trucks, then I left for home. It was a normal Monday training night.
Tuesday morning, I went into work after hearing about a drowning at Twelve Mile Lake. We went on with our morning, typing up news and asking questions about the event, until a coworker asked if I knew Rich Gander.
Continue reading Girl on Fire: The best advice is to enjoy life
[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, April 17, 2014]
What I love about having a column is being able to describe what so many people do in the community to make it a better place. This includes local fire departments and rescue teams, usually.
But, this week is dedicated to a group of people who are probably not normally included in the list of emergency responders: dispatchers.
Continue reading Girl on Fire: Dispatchers deserve recognition, too
[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, February 20, 2014]
Sitting in a classroom full of firefighters from across the state of Iowa, I watched as John Ticer, special agent with Iowa Fire Marshal’s Office, flipped through a PowerPoint slideshow explaining the recipe and how to make methamphetamine.
Ticer taught Meth Lab Awareness, a class available to firefighters at Iowa’s 90th annual State Fire School in Ames.
Continue reading Girl on Fire: How meth has slowly changed the firefighting game
[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, December 5, 2013]
As someone who was on the outside of anything news— and emergency—related until recently, I am still somewhat stuck on the outside looking in. And, this past week is no exception.
My boyfriend Russ Finehout and I were on the way back to Creston from a family holiday get-together in Clarion Saturday when we stopped in Des Moines to shop. We didn’t arrive in Creston until 8 p.m., two and a-half hours after the call for an ice rescue came through Union County dispatch.
Continue reading Girl on Fire: Acknowledging first responders
[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, October 3, 2013]
I climbed the ladder and stepped onto a roof of wooden shingles and moss. The slant made it hard to climb, as did the uncertainty of whether the wood would give. I followed firefighters Lee Freeman and Jake Winkler up near the peak, and Jake and I got to work.
Lee gave me the choice between a chainsaw or K12 power saw. I chose the K12, but after it kept dying, I picked up the chainsaw.
Continue reading Girl on Fire: Appreciating what firefighters do