LaFollette firefighter following in her father’s footsteps

Shannon Carroll

LAFOLLETTE (WATE) – An East Tennessee woman is following her dreams and breaking the mold at the same time. The City of LaFollette hired its first full-time female firefighter.

While Shannon Carroll said she is really excited to finally be a full-time firefighter for the city, it’s not because she’s the first woman hired in that department. Carroll has been working toward this goal for years, always wanting to follow in her dad’s footsteps.

“I think my dad would be happy,” she said. “He would be really happy.”

For Carroll, it was never about whether she was qualified – that was a given.

“I do the same things they do, same responsibilities they do,” she said. “It’s not really any different.”

She has been working hard as a volunteer firefighter for 18 years, always hoping to one day transfer to the LaFollette department.

“I’ve always wanted to work here, mainly because my dad retired from here,” said Carroll. “Also I’ve always wanted to be at a paid department.”

Carroll’s dad worked in the same department for 25 years. He passed away last summer, but several of Carroll’s new co-workers actually worked with her dad as well.

“I think my dad would be happy,” she said. “He would be really happy.”

The city council voted to hire Carroll full time and the vote came with some mandatory changes.

One of the stations was converted so that Carroll has her own bedroom.

“She’s always been a top notch firefighter,” said the city’s administrator Jim Jeffries. “She spent several years being a volunteer. Her dream was to work for a full time department and she never gave up on that dream, so she has accomplished her goals now.”

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