Thursday, July 17, 2014

See The First Woman Firefighter To Be Featured in Calendar of Heroes

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Danae Mines said she’s always wanted to be one of the fire-fighters featured in the yearly New York Fire Department Calendar of Heroes, and feels very happy to be Miss March 2015.
“I wanted my picture in the calendar so that young girls and young women can see me and know that they can do this job,” she said.
But for Danae, one of the city’s few female firefighters for more than a decade, being the first woman featured in the FDNY Calender didn't come easy. At first, she was told the honor was reserved for men only. "I was told that it was all guys. They said if I made it in the calendar, I would look like a pinup girl.”

Danae told the NY Daily News that when she saw an open call for FDNY firefighters posted on the wall of her firehouse last year, she decided it was finally time to break down the gender barriers — but on her own terms.

“I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me I couldn’t do what I wanted to do,” she said. “I was determined.”

Mines admitted feeling a little intimidated standing in line with more than 100 men to audition for a calendar traditionally known to showcase shirtless firemen.

“I was a little scared,” said Mines. “I was the only female.”

But Mines is used to facing adversity head-on. She auditioned and was selected even though in her calendar shot, she is dressed more modestly - in a gray tank top and red suspenders - than her shirtless male counterparts.

Her dreams of becoming a firefighter began when she was just 10 years old after one of the city’s Bravest visited her school to talk about the job.

But her family told her that she should consider another career, because only men joined the FDNY.

“I had absolutely no support from my family when I wanted to come on the job,” she said.

Mines became an EMT and, despite her family’s requests, accepted a promotion to become a firefighter in 2003. And she hasn’t been able to stop her relatives from gloating about her ever since.

“Once I graduated (from the Fire Academy), it was the complete opposite,” she said. “They could not stop bragging.”

Despite being one of 41 women firefighters in the department, Mines said she’s faced with no more challenges than any other man on the job.

“I always go above and beyond, because that’s my job. When I step foot into the firehouse, I have to be able to tell myself that I’m willing to risk my life to save someone else.”

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