SAN DIEGO( KGTV) - A Navy veteran has earned a spot with Federal Fire San Diego, getting hired the day she graduated from the fire academy.
More competitive, Federal Fire is the civilian department which oversees San Diego naval bases.
After serving her country, rookie Caitlyn Argeris says she wanted to serve her community.
“She was hungry for it, we saw the fire get lit, and we wanted to nurture that," said Chief Mary Anderson.
While still on active duty, the young mother took EMT classes at night
“I wasn’t sure if I’d be strong enough, fast enough, have the mental aptitude or physical capabilities," said Argeris. "But you push through it and keep going."
Chief Anderson says Argeris is the second Navy veteran they've hired on the spot after graduation.
Anderson is on a mission to recruit more women into her department. They're at 2 percent, compared to the national average of about 5 percent.
“Women bring something unique to the fire service: compassion," said Chief Anderson. "Once they realize they can do it, they catch that bug as well.”
Argeris hopes her story will inspire other women to consider joining the fire service.