Hoosier makes history as the first woman firefighter in Peru

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PERU, Ind. (July 2, 2015) - 27 year-old Stacey Swinford is making history in Peru. Swinford became the first female firefighter in Peru since the department was founded in 1843, accomplishing a goal that she has dreamt about for years.

“Being in this community and growing up here, this was a no brainer. This was something that I thought I would do well in, and I love it so far. I’m very happy,” says Swinford.

Growing up in the city of Peru, Swinford always stood out. She was the homecoming queen, the prom queen, and a star athlete. She never let being a girl stop her from any competition.  When she was twelve years old, she tried out for an all-boys baseball league.  She was the only girl on the team, but she loves the challenge of proving she can do anything as well as her male counterparts.

“The challenges where you have to be as good as one of the boys, you might be looked at or watched a little bit harder or judged more. It really makes you focus on what you need to do and who is in front of you,” says Swinford.

The Peru Fire Department says she is not only extremely qualified for the position but her personality and charisma make her an irreplaceable member of the team.

“She is approachable, you can talk to her. She excels athletically with her background in sports. So, she did not have any trouble with the physical agility test. Then in the interview she really impressed everyone,” says Peru Fire Chief Chris Betzner.

Every time she gets back into the truck and goes out on another call, she knows she’s helping people in the city she loves.

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