LONGVIEW, WA (KPTV) - 24-year-old Chelsey Miller is making history.

Monday afternoon, she was officially sworn in as the first female firefighter with the Longview, Washington fire department.

“I’m excited to be the first female here and I hope to make everybody proud and succeed and show that other girls can do this job too and it’s not just a man’s job,” Miller said.

Miller may be young, but she is one tough lady. Her background is in sports, softball in particular, but she also loves CrossFit and can deadlift 340 pounds.

She knows the job is physically demanding and full of challenges, and says that’s why she loves it.

“I really love hard work and challenges and pushing myself to places I didn’t think I could go,” Miller said.

Miller started interning with Longview Fire in 2014, so she’s already put in a lot of time with the department and has come to know the crew around the fire house.

Miller is a Pacific Northwest native and grew up in Portland where she attended Centennial High School. Back then, she went on a ride-along with Portland Fire and knew it was a career she wanted to pursue.

After graduation, she came to Lower Columbia College in Longview and earned her associates in fire science.

She’s already breaking records. In one exercise, a simulation for getting through a locked door using tools and force, Miller said it originally took her 22 minutes as a new student. Now, she can do it in 34 seconds – beating the guys at the fire house and setting a new standard.

“I loved being an intern and I loved all the guys here,” Miller said. “They were great mentors for me and taught me to be a great firefighter, and I know they’ll teach me for the next 30 years of my career.”

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(1) comment

Tome

I was captain at Pacific City Oregon Fire Rescue for many years. Over the years some of my best firefighters were women. One lady I trained was at Twalitin Fire Department for years.



Mt. Hebo Air Force Station in late 1950 through 70's had all women firefighters for both Base and Houseing.It worked out real well. I believe women can do as well as men in most situations.


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