“Being in training for jiu-jitsu has really helped me with the firefighting. I felt that I was prepared as a woman, especially on the physical side. The suits weigh around 70 pounds. You’re having to do the exact same thing your male counterparts are, so they all know we’re capable of doing our job.” Read more from our interview with Trista Latoya Walker, professional firefighter.
Jen Reel was an Observer intern before joining the staff in July 2010, first as Web Content Manager, and most recently as Multimedia Editor. She left the Observer in 2017.