When She Was Told She Was ‘Too Weak’ To Be A Firefighter, One Woman Proved Them All Wrong
History is full of women who were told they couldn’t do something and then went ahead and did it anyways. And not only that, they did it while they were looking fierce AF, and did it better than all the boys who told her she couldn’t. And she probably did it while she was being harassed and told she couldn’t do it while she was actively doing it and proving everyone wrong, too. If you want something done, you give it to a woman, because women are capable of doing anything. Why limit women to staying in the house, having babies and making sandwiches?
Pretty much ever woman out there has been told that she couldn’t do something at some point in her life. That means that pretty much every woman out there has known the satisfaction of proving someone wrong. This woman who wanted to be a firefighter knows that feeling all too well.
It's A Man's World
For a long, long time, being a firefighter was considered a job for a man. It’s still kind of that way today.
It’s almost as if you can’t don the suit and run into burning buildings if you’re a member of “the weaker sex.”
You might as well put a “no girls allowed” sign in front of the firehouse and train the Dalmatians to bite any woman that tries to come through the doors. But one woman thinks otherwise.
The Weakest Link
Presley Prichard wanted to become a firefighter, but she was told that she was “too weak” because she is a woman.
But she proved all of the people who told her that she couldn’t do it wrong, and followed her dreams of saving lives.
And more importantly, she’s been documenting her journey and experiences on Instagram to show other girls that it can be done, and you can become a firefighter despite the fact that you’re a girl.
When Presley was just 16-years-old, she knew she wanted to become a firefighter, so she started preparing for the career she wanted.
Presley became pregnant and had her first child at 18, but she didn’t let that slow her down. She continued training to become a firefighter.
When Presley was just 19, she finally became a fully qualified paramedic. That’s such a major accomplishment to make at such a young age. Being both a mom and a paramedic?
Unfortunately, having a baby could have set Presley back in her goals because of the havoc pregnancy wrecks on your body.
Presley found that she had lost some of the muscles she had before she had children because she was put on bed rest during her pregnancies.
Being a firefighter takes a lot of strength and stamina regardless of your gender. Still, Presley wasn’t going to let something like having a baby slow her down. She pushed forward.
Presley remembers the dedication that she had to follow through on her dreams while she was pregnant.
“At 18, I went into labor on my last clinical shift, showed up to school two nights after having Peyton [now six] and graduated two weeks later,” said Presley.
If that doesn’t prove that you have what it takes to become a firefighter, we don’t know what does. Going to school right after giving birth is dedication in its highest form.
Hard On The Body
Presley remembers that giving birth to her two children wasn’t easy, now was it gentle on her body.
“I had to be on bed-rest for a long time with both of my kids because I had difficult pregnancies,” said Presley.
“I got really skinny, gaining only 17 pounds and eight of that was the baby herself.” Yeah, so normally being pregnant does’t make you skinny. Normally it’s the opposite. You feel like a beached whale during it.
Small And Mighty
Even though Presley had the determinism to become a firefighter, there was a chance her body might not be up for it. She knew she had to work extra hard.
“When I first started the job, I was very small and wasn’t very strong, even though I had good cardiovascular fitness from running,” said Presley.
“The job was really hard for me, but I didn’t want people to doubt me and not want to be paired with me.”
Presley was told that she was too tiny to be a firefighter because of her petite frame.
“When I first came into this job and I was a ‘pretty’ girl, people thought I just wanted to date the men. They thought I had other motivations,” said Presley.
“As a firefighter paramedic, especially being a small woman in a largely male-dominated career, I knew I had to make a change.” Presley was going to buckle down.
Presley buckled down and hit the gym. Presley worked hard to regain her strength, and now she’s undeniably fit.
Presley can deadlift 303 pounds, which is pretty impressive. She can now lift the same firefighters who first told her that she wasn’t up for the job.
Can you imagine how badass that would look? If someone told her that she couldn’t do it because she was a girl, and then she just lifted him up in the air?
Seeing Is Believing
Presley feels good about herself now, but there are some people who are still skeptical that she’s actually a firefighter.
“A lot of people don’t believe I’m actually a firefighter. I say, ‘what do you think I do. (sic) Go to a random department and take pictures of myself,'” says Presley.
Presley’s Instagram account is full of photos of the mother and firefighter looking badass at her job. It’s crazy to think some people don’t believe it’s real.
Presley is very proud of herself, because she knows she worked so hard to get to where she is today.
“I’m proving them wrong by carrying the same men [who doubted] me out of buildings,” says Presley of her haters.
“I was the girl in school who played soccer but was always picked last because I wasn’t a man,” she says. “Now I’m probably the first pick over most men, because my colleagues respect how strong I am.”
Presley isn’t just respected by her colleagues, she’s also an inspiration to other girls who want to be just like her.
“I have a lot of girls messaging me, especially pretty girls, saying everybody is saying they’ll never make it,” says Presley.
“I have all these women messaging me asking ‘how can I be stronger,’ ‘how can I be better at my job,’ ‘how can I fit in?'” It’s 2019. Why are we still saying women can’t do something?
Even though Presley is kicking ass and taking names, there still aren’t a lot of female firefighters out there.
“There’s not many women in the fire service but I think women follow me because I show it’s possible. I definitely think that’s my target audience,” says Presley.
“I get 10,000 likes on my uniform transformation pictures.” Presley makes being a firefighter looks so cool. We kind of want to sign up for the job even though we don’t even run.
Presley’s posts show that strong women can be beautiful and that beautiful women can be strong.
“I always try to make my posts positive and I really like showing other girls that being strong and thick, and not just being skinny and having abs, is important,” says Presley.
“It teaches girls to be strong and that they can keep up with the guys.” We’re pretty sure that Presley is teaching us that you can even beat the guys.
Fight Fire With Fire
We love that Presley is such an inspiration to other girls who want to live out their dreams of helping people by being a firefighter.
The profession of firefighter is still male dominated, but if Presley’s influence changes the world, that won’t be the case.
It’s always so inspiring to see someone stand up to all the odds stacked against them and succeed. We’re super impressed by Presley, and we’re going to start doing some pushups, stat!