Texas fire department welcomes first female firefighter-paramedic in its 141 years
Hannah Lindemuth said she was inspired to join the fire service after first responders helped her say goodbye to her dying father
By Drew Smith
DENISON, Texas — Denison Fire Rescue crews welcomed Hanna Lindemuth to their team last week as not only one of the department's newest employees but as the first female firefighter and paramedic in the department's 141-year history.
"We're happy she's here and we're proud of her at the same time," Assistant Fire Chief Mark Escamilla said. "That's a big feat that she's completed. We welcome her with open arms, and she's definitely going to be an inspiration for us as a community."
Lindemuth said her road to becoming a paramedic and firefighter first began several years ago when a family tragedy opened her eyes to the value of the work.
"I lost my dad a couple of years ago to a motorcycle accident," Lindemuth said. "After doing some research, I found that if it wasn't for the first responders there, I probably wouldn't have been able to tell him goodbye while his heart was still beating. I ultimately just want to give back and do the same kind of thing for other people."
After completing EMT and paramedic school, Lindemuth set her sights on fire school. She said she trained with a number of agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex before deciding to look for work in Grayson County, where she remains one of the few female firefighters around.
"Fire school was grueling, but it was great and I had a lot of fun," Lindemuth said. "Starting off as a paramedic was great and showed me that I was in the right place and this is what I'm meant to do. I love every second of it."
As is the case with most new jobs, Lindemuth said she's had to complete considerable training and that the experience has been a whirlwind of new information. But she said the first few days on the job have been an absolute blast.
"It's been great," Lindemuth said. "There's a lot of training. Basically, I feel like I've gone through a crash course in fire school, doing different things every day."
Lindemuth explained that as she went through training and fire school, she was well aware that she might become the first woman to join the Denison Fire Rescue ranks. And she said that knowledge further motivated her to succeed. Lindemuth said accomplishing her goal was no easy feat, but she didn't want that to keep other women from pursuing their passions.
"I know a ton of girls who are paramedics and want to get into the fire side of it, but are just too nervous to do it," Lindemuth said. "I'd just tell them to keep their hose to the ground, start working out, eating right and train as often as they can. It can be done."
Lindemuth said as a rookie, she may end up bouncing from station to station, but for now, the department's Southside facility along Eisenhower Parkway will be the place she hangs her helmet and bunker jacket. And no matter what call she responds to, Lindemuth said her father will travel with her thanks to a thin red tattoo on her wrist, in the shape of his final heartbeats.
"Ultimately, I'm just looking forward to seeing how I can impact lives," Lindemuth said. "And I guess I just hope I end up doing some good in this sometimes crazy world."
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