The Lawrence Journal-World has a nice profile of IAFF member Lexie Engleman who is retiring from the Lawrence fire department in Kansas this month.

Engleman, 60, became one of the first female fire fighters in Lawrence and in the state in 1981. She worked her way up the ranks and will retire as a captain of the fire department.

Colleagues and other residents of Lawrence described Engleman’s career as significant because it showed women could be good fire fighters.

One woman wrote online that Engleman had a strong influence by showing young girls that they could be anything they wanted to be.

For her part, Engleman tells the Lawrence Journal-World that she was destined to become a fire fighter.

“This occupation is something different every day. And it’s helping people on their worst day. They said you either love it or you hate it the minute you do it,” she said. “They are right. I knew it.

This is what I was meant to do.”

Women have been serving tirelessly and proudly for decades and deserve recognition – we’d love to see more stories about female fire fighters.