‘A dream come true’: Tooele City Fire Dept. hires first female firefighter

Dec 13, 2022, 6:10 PM | Updated: 6:32 pm

TOOELE, Utah — The Tooele City Fire Department hired its first ever female firefighter.

Makensie McManigal, 24, joined the department in August.

“It’s honestly like a dream come true,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter.”

It runs in her family. Both of her parents were firefighters in Utah.

Before applying for the position, she worked as a preschool teacher and as an EMT at a racetrack.

“I worked with a couple of the firefighters out at my job and I was talking to them, and they told me to apply out here and I did, and now I’m here,” McManigal said.

During her interview process, she was told she’d be the only woman filling the role, but she didn’t think she’d be the first.

“They told me that I was the first girl that had ever been voted on and I had no idea,” McManigal said. “I thought there would’ve been girls before. I had just been told there was no girls at the time. That kind of shocked me. It was definitely an honor. I feel really proud.”

She said there have been some adjustments made inside the firehouse. There was no designated ladies room before she joined the team.

McManigal admitted there’s a lot to learn. She’s in training as a probationary firefighter until April.

The 24-year-old is humble.

“I would say I’m a calm, kind of quiet person,” she said.

She said those characteristics can come in handy during stressful situations.

“Once you get called to an accident, you just kind of have to put your mind to it and take care of that person,” McManigal said.

She doesn’t want special treatment, but she does believe representation can be an inspiration.

“I hope to be able to do that for a little girl one day,” she said.

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‘A dream come true’: Tooele City Fire Dept. hires first female firefighter