Audrey Farmer (center-left) is Eastland-Fairfield's first female Firefighting student.
Audrey Farmer, Liberty Union seniorAudrey Farmer may be the first female in Eastland-Fairfield's Firefighting program, but it’s not this fact that makes her unique; rather, it’s her humble nature and true passion for public service.
Audrey, a senior from Liberty Union High School, chose Eastland-Fairfield because of the speed at which she could earn her credentials.
“Having the opportunity to get my certification while still in high school was too good of an opportunity to pass up,” she said.
It also means she can begin giving back to a community that has given her and her family so much that much sooner. Audrey will be the third in her family to become a firefighter. Her dad, Kasey Farmer, began serving as a firefighter at 18, knowing from a young age it was the career path he wanted to pursue. Her older brother, Reed, followed in his footsteps.
Audrey loves knowing she is following their paths toward success.
“We all grow up seeing big red firetrucks driving through town and every little kid gets excited to see them. I figure why not be one of the people driving those big trucks and helping people when they need you,” she said.
She chose firefighting for its physical aspect but also for the problem-solving skills the field requires and the camaraderie. She said she walked into class the first day with one brother, and now walks in each day with 20 brothers that she knows will have her back through anything.
Farmer (left) is suited up for training in the Firefighting program's burn house.
Eastland-Fairfield’s instructors were another draw for Audrey as she’s known many of them since she was a toddler running around the firehouse clutching her baby doll. She joked that it took several of them time to adjust to seeing her grown up.
She said, “When they finally started lumping me in with the guys, it was a great day because I knew they recognized I was there to learn and be the best firefighter I can be.”
Audrey said she’d be honored to work with any number of her instructors, including instructors Daniels, Maples, Short, Burke, Rosencrans, and Grizer, saying they are all key to her educational journey.
Her dad started with the Basil Joint Fire District (BJFD) in 1993 as a volunteer member, then served with the Franklin Township Fire Department on the west side of Columbus for 12 years before being named the first full-time assistant chief with the BJFD in 2007. He continues in this role today, in addition to teaching at Eastland-Fairfield. Her brother, Reed, is serving in multiple fire districts, including Basil Joint Fire District.
“There is nothing like watching both of my kids grow and mature in this field,” he said. “Kindness, caring, compassion and empathy are personality traits that Audrey has and these characteristics coupled with determination will allow Audrey to excel in a male-dominated career field. I know she will show through actions and not words that females are an important part of the firefighting service.”
Audrey Farmer (center) is Eastland-Fairfield's first female Firefighting student and comes from a line of firefighters in her family.
After she completes the Firefighting program at Eastland-Fairfield this spring, Audrey plans on going to EMT school at the Ohio Fire Academy. After that, she hopes to work part-time for several stations, including BJFD. After a year on the job, she plans to go to paramedic school then seek a full-time job. Her dream job is to be a paramedic in a hospital or to work on a helicopter as an air evacuation paramedic.
Her plans do not stop there. When she retires, Audrey wants to serve the fire marshal’s office on the arson investigation team focusing on K-9 arson/bomb detection. She then hopes to be able to take all the knowledge she’s gained in her career and continue giving back to where it all began.
“I hope that I will eventually be invited back to Eastland-Fairfield to teach because the program has given me such an amazing opportunity that I want to give back to future generations,” she said.
Firefighting at Eastland-Fairfield is a one-year, senior-only program hosted at Eastland Career Center. For more information on the Firefighting program, please visit www.EastlandFairfield.com/Firefighting.
Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools is the seventh-largest career and technical education district, geographically, in the State of Ohio. We serve more than 5,000 students in 16 school districts throughout Franklin, Fairfield and Pickaway counties. Eastland-Fairfield provides more than 40 programs to over 1,400 high school and adult students. The district has two main campuses — Eastland Career Center in Groveport and Fairfield Career Center in Carroll, with satellite locations at four of our associate high schools: Gahanna Lincoln, Groveport Madison, New Albany, and Pickerington North.
Founded in 1969. Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools’ mission is to engage, enrich, and equip students every day in every experience. We prepare students to pursue their life’s next E: Employment, Enlistment, Entrepreneurship, and/or additional Education. Visit us online at www.eastlandfairfield.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn for regular updates, fun content and information.