The room nicknamed the ‘man cave’ – with recliners and a TV – inside the Washougal fire station could be in need of a new description – as the fire department has welcomed its second volunteer female firefighter.
Carly Shears, 29, recently completed the firefighter academy and is studying to earn a paramedic degree at Portland Community College.
She has been with the WFD for four months.
“The rewards of fire fighting are abundant,” Shears said. “I am able to dedicate my life to serving others, in making this my career. How I am able to represent the department I work for – and the service as a whole – is beyond compare. Integrity, honor and moral character are just a few of the traits I get to stand for.
“This career is both mentally and physically demanding and rather exciting at times,” she added. “The challenges that are presented with fire fighting are also what I love about it though. The biggest challenge – especially as a woman – would be my physical abilities. Being a firefighter only gives me one more reason to stay strong and healthy. It’s a great feeling to be able to keep up with all the boys.”
Shears is also a self-employed photographer and a single mother of three.
Charlie Dawson has served as a volunteer firefighter with the WFD for 20 years. She has been a battalion chief for five years and a secretary/treasurer for the volunteers for 18 years.