Female Firefighter Strives For Excellence

By Rose Lundy
The Daily News, Longview, Wash.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Firefighter Chelsey Miller says she sometimes encounters people who don’t think women are physically able to perform the job as well as men.


When Longview Fire Chief Jim Kambeitz’s 8-year-old daughter met firefighter intern Chelsey Miller a few years ago, she was star struck.

“My daughter was like, ‘Dad, girls can be firefighters?’ And I said, ‘Yeah!’ And she thought Chelsey was the coolest thing she’d ever seen,” Kambeitz said Monday. “That was a positive influence on my daughter that I personally saw.”

Beginning Monday, other local women may have the same experience. Miller was sworn in as the Longview Fire Department’s first full-time female firefighter/EMT. She and Vince Gilberti, also sworn in Monday during the private ceremony, will head to the fire academy in Camas next week.

Gilberti was previously a part-time firefighter with Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue until 2013, when he started working as an electrician with BNSF Railway.

During an interview Monday, Miller said she was aware of the significance of her hiring but said she expects Longview FD to hold her to the same standards as her male counterparts.

“I’m here to prove myself and to prove to everyone that this isn’t just a man’s job. It’s slowly changing in the fire service, and I’m excited to be a part of that change,” she said.

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