Tania Liz Medina Figueroa, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Captain in the Puerto Rico Fire Department

“It was a challenge, all the physical training we had to do, and then going to the fire stations and working on totally equal footing with the men, not just washing the truck but also driving it, handling fire emergencies. Fortunately, when that began, I was assigned to a group of more experienced firefighters who helped us a great deal. We were able to learn and grow a lot. Everyone chooses their path, but if a person has goals and aspires [to them] with discipline, they can be achieved. When the opportunity for me to become sergeant came up, I said, ‘This is it.’ And then I went for the [position of] captain and to be head of a district, and here I am. In an environment that is still masculine, it’s confidence and maintaining that character, that respect. But one also has to be empathetic, to create the trust for them to approach you and tell you, ‘Captain, I have a situation.’”
Yerimar Rivera Rivera, GPJ Puerto Rico