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First woman to go through TJC fire academy

First woman to go through TJC fire academy
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 7:10pm

Tyler Junior College Fire Academy just accepted their first female applicant.

And so far she is keeping up with the boys.

Firefighting is in Tasia Gutterud's blood.

Her grandfather has been a firefighter in California for 41 years.

And now she is going to make history as the first female to go through the junior college's fire academy.

"I see it as if a guy can do it I can easily do it.  It might take me a little longer but I'll get it done," said Gutterud.  

This week the 19-year-old started her 12 week program at the fire academy.

Working out every morning with the boys, Gutterud has the determination to come on top.

"Females can do it. It's just getting up and pursuing it that is the problem."

Gutterud tried out nursing but decided that wasn't the right fit for her.

But, her parents and grandfather knew she would be a firefighter one day.

"I love to help people, I love to be in the middle of everything, and to do something bigger than myself is what I want to do."

Being the first female to apply to the fire academy, Gutterud said her instructors and classmates were pretty shocked.

"They're so used to being like male firefighters or sir this or guys this and now they're like woman firefighters and her."

The academy's strength and agility coach Mark Gibson said they will put Gutterud through the same training and conditioning as her male classmates.

"She's going to be able to compete I think she understood that before she came in to compete and she will stand out and do this thing," said Gibson.

Since TJC started the academy two years ago, they've been trying to recruit both men and women.

They are excited to finally bring a woman on board.

"She is very determined to make it in the program and I believe she has the ability to do that so were excited to have her," said Director of the Fire Academy Jerry Eastman.

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