CHARLESTON, Ill (WCIA) — Often thought of as a male-dominated industry, firefighting is reaching new levels and so is the Charleston Fire Department.
Allison Tinnon, who was born and raised in central Illinois, is excited to be staying close to home and responding when her community needs her.
“Seeing my dad do it and now I finally get to do it, it’s just going to be a dream come true,” Tinnon said. “This is the department that I wanted. Just the reputation, knowing the guys, this is where I wanted to be.”
Tinnon said she is excited to start her new role at the department and get right to work.
“It’ll definitely be mostly EMS, running ambulance calls with the fire calls thrown in there,” Tinnon said. “But I expect mostly EMS.”
Charleston Fire Chief Steve Bennett is excited to see Allison excel with the department and hopes her position serves has an example for others.
“We’re really happy to have Allison here,” Bennett said. “I think she’s going to be a great asset to the department.”
Bennett believes it will be beneficial for the department to have a female presence at some calls and hopes her experience will help patients.
“You’re seeing more and more females getting into the fire service,” Bennett said. “A lot of them will start on the EMS side and then bridge over the fire side.”
Tinnon hopes her past experiences in EMS will help her serve her community.
“Being able to give back to this community full time, I’ll also be able to take this knowledge and add it to my hometown as well,” Tinnon said.
She hopes her new job will inspire others to follow.
“I would love to be able to pave the way for future women,” Tinnon said. “That way, it’s not a rare occasion to see the female in the fire department.”