Majority female fire department fights flames and stereotypes

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POSTED: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 10:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, November 8, 2013 - 9:24am

When you make a call for help in the Maurepaus area, don't be surprised if you see a group of women coming to your rescue.

When the Livingston Parish volunteer firefighters from district nine step out of their truck, they expect to hear the comments.

"They say, ‘are y'all going fight the fire are you going get the men to come do it,’" shared Samantha Breaud, chief of the department.

The answer though is no, these women fight fires too, it's a unique situation because the first responders in this department actually out-number the men.

"More women have stepped up and said, 'hey what can we do to help? 'Well you can do anything they can do! And I can do anything they can do. So come on, let's go," said Danielle Lessard, Deputy Chief.

It's also the only fire department in the area with a female fire chief.

"Chief, the way I see chief, she's a stern woman, but she's a fair woman, everyone respects her and we look up to her and we admire her," shared Stacey Glover, a member of the department.

"We work side by side with the guys, we don't separate by gender, it's just, there's not a girl job, there's not a boy job. If it needs to be done we just do it," explained Breaud.

And they do the job as one big family.

"Although I know for the males it's like a brotherhood, it's like a family for us, you know? And brotherhood yes that's strong, but family, I feel that's stronger. That's a lot stronger because these women will go to bat for each other any and everyday of the week," explained Glover.

And for these women who prove every day that anything a man can do, they can do also, it's a testament to just how far they've come.

"We've progressed, women we've progressed a lot over the years, and I really enjoyed seeing that. That was perfect for me," added Glover

"The more and more they see us, the more come in, we're loving seeing that, especially a lot of the younger generation, like my daughter and a lot of her friends are interested in it. They come up here, they volunteer,” said Lassard.

The women of the Livingston Parish district nine fire department have a challenge for other females.

"That's what everyone needs to realize, you can do this. If I can do it, you can do it," added Lassard.

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