On Dec. 27, a call came in for a man who had fallen in his home and couldn’t get up. It was the same night where the fire station was staffed by three women.
"Of course he looks at us like he said, "Oh you're the EMTs,'" said Fire Lieutenant Heather Angelo. "'No, we're not. We're the firefighters.'"
The only female firefighters in the 180-member Brockton Fire Department, Dawkins, Angelo, and Katie Dubeua all answered the call.
A photo taken afterward shows the three firefighters standing in front of the department’s Ladder 2.
“Just one of those hit or miss situations," said Dawkins. “You never know when all three of us are going to be together and when we were finally together it was perfect.”
Dubeua joined the department two years ago. Angelo has been a Brockton firefighter for 19 years, and Dawkins was the first woman to join the department, in 1999. Angelo calls the department her family, and says they’re just like one of the guys.
“We had to come in and show them that we were here willing to do the same job as them we didn’t expect any special treatment," said Angelo.
At the age of 64, Dawkins is Brockton’s oldest firefighter and does everything the men do, except with fancy nails underneath her fire gloves.
“We wear medical gloves; we wear fire gloves. [I] never see my hands and my nails never get in the way," she said.
The firefighters say they embrace their influence as role models to all females and acknowledge the power of representation.
“I hope they look at us and say, ‘If I want to accomplish something I can do it; there are no boundaries ,'" Angelo said. “It’s all what you put your mind to.”
All three firefighters are also military veterans, serving in the Army and the Navy.