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First African-American Woman Firefighter Joins Rochester Fire Dept.

It’s pretty crazy that in 2017 there are still so many “first” African-Americans to do jobs that we are MORE than qualified to do, but we digress.

A report in WHEC states that just this past Friday, the very first African-American woman took the oath to become a firefighter in the Rochester Fire Department.

Alissa Turner is one of nineteen new recruits who became official Friday night.

“I knew that I wanted to help the community,” Turner said. “I didn’t know how. I came back from Afghanistan. I didn’t know how I wanted to help or what I wanted to do.”

Alissa found the inspiration she was looking for when her grandmother became ill and someone called 911:

“Unfortunately my grandmother passed away,” Turner said. “But during that day, Engine 5 from Lyell Avenue (responded). So the RFD was there for me.”

In addition to being the only Black firefighter out of 480 in the RFD, Alissa is only one of 15 women on the force.

Congrats, sista!



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