DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Delray Beach Fire Rescue hired the first female firefighter with the department nearly 40 years ago.
Pam Garcia helped pave the way for other women to join the department, including her daughter.
Pam started as a firefighter in 1983 and retired nine years ago. Her daughter Taylor Garcia started working with Delray Beach Fire Rescue in March.
“I don’t think there was ever a point I didn’t want to do it,” said Taylor.
She said it’s amazing to work in the same place her mother worked and where she grew up.
“It is funny because I would draw on the board. I would be drawing flowers and mermaids, and now I am writing drug dosages and calculations,” said Taylor.
Pam said she was proud when her daughter got the job.
“It can be nerve-racking, I know what this profession entails,” she added.
The mother, daughter relationship has helped Taylor start her new career. Taylor said she gets her best support and advice from Mom, especially during constant change with a worldwide pandemic.
“The AIDS epidemic was new also,” said Pam. “So I know exactly what she is going through.”
“There are always little mom thoughts in the back of my head when I am on a call or doing a rescue shift, ‘hey what would mom do,’” said Taylor.
Taylor said being a woman firefighter is no different, and her mom helped make it that way.
“To be able to show I can do the job without any special criteria, that hopefully opened the door for females down the road,” said Pam.
Taylor said she wants to be a role model for other girls and even boys who want to be firefighters.