“I feel like I should be the one to help everybody.”
Those were the words of former Stuttgart High School graduate and SAU sophomore, Aniyah Hobbs, who made Stuttgart history on Monday as the first female volunteer firefighter for the Stuttgart Fire Department.
Passionate about learning the ropes of firefighting and pursuing it as a full-time career, Hobbs said she is very proud of the decision she made to serve her community.
Hobbs also made history as the first black female firefighter.
“I believe it’s the right thing to do and I know a lot of women don’t become firefighters,” said Hobbs. “I’m excited to represent for all women and get us out there in this industry.”
According to Stuttgart Fire Chief Jimmy Cason, to his knowledge, Hobbs is also the first female in 15 years to work with the Stuttgart Fire Department.
“I’m overjoyed just because she is young and she is interested,” said Cason whose goal when appointed as chief in 2017 was to get younger and interested individuals from Stuttgart to join the team. “The joy and enthusiasm that she got has really been great.”
Hobbs participated in a ride-a-long program with the SFD which secured her decision to volunteer. She often dreamed of becoming a firefighter, motivated by one of her favorites, Ladder 49.
As a volunteer firefighter, her official start day will be July 6.
“I’ll be responding to fire alarms, fires and car accidents,” said Hobbs.
As part of Hobbs’ training, she will attend volunteer courses as well as continuing education courses that will count towards her certification to become a full-time firefighter.
“We’ll be working with her once a month on different classes, said Cason. “This is the first step to becoming a full-time firefighter unless you go to the academy.”