LINCOLN -The first time Cora Deller rode on a fire truck with its siren wailing, she was exhilarated.
"Suddenly you have all of this new knowledge that you have to put to use," she said. "There are so many rules. You have to remember the guidelines you were taught and if you do something wrong, it's on your head."
News Photo by Betsy Lehndorff
Cora Deller, 20, was sworn in this week as a Lincoln volunteer firefighter.
That was two years ago when she joined the Harrisville City Township Fire Department as a volunteer.
Earlier this week, she also was sworn in as a volunteer firefighter for the Village of Lincoln.
"We are very proud to have her," Village President Phil Jordan said. "She's an EMT and a firefighter, which is a real plus for us."
Deller's father, Paul, also is a big fan.
"She has always been a go-getter," he said. "She's kind of the outdoorsy type. She likes to hunt and fish. She's also compassionate."
The 20-year-old is not the first woman to join Lincoln's squad, but follows in the footsteps of at least two others. Harrisville also has at least one woman working as a first responder.
Safety rules state that Deller, as a volunteer, cannot enter a burning building. She also can't handle hazardous materials at an emergency spill. But, at 120 pounds, she has the strength and training to lug hoses around, spray pressurized water on hot spots, man generators and hold ladders for other firefighters. That is, as long as she is wearing 30 to 40 pounds of bunker gear, including ladies' size 7 boots.
Deller also is an entry-level emergency medical technician and said she has gone out on more calls than she can remember. When there is an emergency, the Harrisville resident is alerted by special tones on her pager, and is told where to report. She is on call 24 hours a day, and keeps life-saving equipment in her car.
"In a year we probably get at least 100 calls," she said.
If she's asleep, she dives out of bed, throws her clothes on and can arrive at a medical emergency in as little as 10 minutes.
"You know you can go above and beyond what the average person can do," she said. "When someone calls 9-1-1, they look to you to help."
But not all of them can be helped, especially when she is required to give CPR.
"If you can't save that person, you have to be able to live with yourself at the end of the day," she said. "You have to live with the outcome."