Two women making history in A.C.

May 1, 2008 6:13:58 AM PDT
It is a grueling 14 week training course to become a firefighter in Atlantic City. Among those going through the rigors of training are 32 year old Nicola Harvey and 27 year old Latoya Watson. They are blazing a trail for others to follow since they will become the first African American women to join the Atlantic City fire department.

"It's amazing for me to be standing in these fire boots right now," Watson said humbly. "And I'm making history and making my mom and daughters proud."

"I knew I always wanted to do something as far as community service wise," Harvey said. "You know, giving back that's the way I look at it." Harvery and Watson share more than the distinction of being history makers. They are also veterans of the Iraq war. Watson served 4 years in the Army and was in Baghdad at the start of the war.

The mother of two looks forward to this new adventure. "It's different training," she said."Now we're training to save people, help people 24-7."

Harvey is a member of the National Guard and she spent a year in Iraq. She came home with a Purple Heart for injuries suffered when her convoy was attacked. Soon she will be a firefighter.

"It was like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire," she said smiling. "Literally, into the fire."

In another piece of history for the Atlantic City fire department, 18 of the 28 members of the class that Harvey and Watson are in, are veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.

After serving their country Watson and Harvey look forward to serving their community when they graduate in June.


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