Ozark Fire Dept. Gets 1st Female Firefighter

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OZARK, AL--One by one they cross the stage all promising to brave fire to save a life.
In the mix there's a unique recruit.

"I feel like there's a lot of pressure on me, I certainly don't want to let anyone down," said Regina Fritz.

Regina Fritz is now the first female firefighter to join the Ozark Fire Department.

"Primarily I was a stay at home mom for the last 13 years, I have four children and they're all in school now."

Fritz says she chose firefighting for a couple of reasons.

"I wanted a physically demanding job and I also wanted to give back to the community."

Ozark Fire Training Captain Bart Harden says adding a female to the team doesn't make a difference.

"As long as she can do the job I don't have a problem with it, it's one size fits all."

Officials say this isn't the first female to to try out for the fire department but it is the first to make it.

"We currently have several females who work for the ems side. Up until this point we've had females apply but we've never had one to pass the CPAT."

The CPAT is the Candidate Physical Agility Test.
Fritz says she's ready and confident.

"I know I have a lot of work to do to keep up with the men, they obviously have size on me but I'm strong willed and tough."

Two characteristics that make her a great addition to the team.

The new recruits took a 9 week course at the Ozark Regional Extension Center Firefighter I/II Recruit School.

Six of them will work in Ozark, Four in Andalusia, One in Troy, One in Greenville and two are self sponsors.

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