Women continue to make inroads in traditionally male-dominated roles from the national to the local level, but Marion’s first paid female firefighter takes it all in stride.
April Shipley volunteered for over a decade with Marion Fire/EMS before becoming the department’s first paid female firefighter. She is one of nine women in the Fire/EMS department with 31 men and is only the third paid firefighter.
When Marion Volunteer Fire Department merged with Marion Lifesaving Crew several years ago, there was one paid member, then another, and now a third. Chief Billy Hamm said he hopes to continue expanding the paid staff, especially those who are both firefighters and EMTs.
Hamm said Shipley was hired for her many qualifications, including her certifications as Firefighter I and EMT, EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operation Certification) instructor, and certified public information officer.