Fry Fire District firefighter/paramedic Xochitl Baca-Cruz fondly recalls as a child hearing stories from her grandfather about his time as a battalion chief with the Tucson Fire Department. She was hooked at a young age listening to his exploits.
Baca-Cruz said, “I remember going to visit him and he would just tell me these stories that he would have. All these, adventures more than stories, of how he would save people or he would go into burning buildings and how it was just dangerous. Of course, what kid doesn’t like danger?”
She joined the Explorer Program through middle school and continued showing an interest in becoming a firefighter. After graduating high school Baca-Cruz attended the Fire Academy at Pima Community College and received her Firefighter 1 & 2 and EMT certifications. She then pursued her medic education.
“I’ve always been interested in health care and have always found it fascinating to fix people when they’re sick or even to just be there for people to help them to get better from whatever situation that they’re in,” Baca-Cruz said.