Lebanon Firefighter Katie Pallikan knew at a young age that she wanted to be in the fire service. Her father is a firefighter. Her two brothers are firefighters. It’s how she’s wired and it’s who she is. With so much drive, determination, and respect for the fire service, it’s not surprising that Katie Pallikan has become the first female firefighter in the history of LFD.
“I feel like that if I’m able to become a firefighter and I’m able to get through all of the training, then anyone is able to do it, if they really want to,” said Lebanon Firefighter Katie Pallikan. “If they have those dreams and aspirations, then I believe they should go follow through with them just keep at it and stay driven and stay motivated. If I can do it, you can do it. I think this is the best job in the world and I feel like I don’t even work a day in my life because I love it so much.”
“My brothers and I actually grew up with our dad as a firefighter at IFD,” added Pallikan. “So we were introduced to that kind of lifestyle pretty early. That is what kind of originally sparked my interest, the EMS(Emergency Management Services) side of things, the medical side of everything, and I fell in love with all of it. I really enjoyed it and have enjoyed working here at Lebanon.”
“It was a little nerve-racking at the beginning of the academy especially,” said Pallikan. “I was the only woman at the academy along with 25 other men, so I was really hopeful that they would be supportive and treat me with respect, the way that I would respect them. They exceeded my expectations.”
“I was very excited when I finally finished the CPAT(Candidate Physical Abilities Test), and got the time. I was very excited,” said Pallikan. “I was relieved that I got it. I trained for it for almost a month or so. It requires you to carry seventy-five pounds on a Stairmaster for about three-and-a-half minutes. Honestly that was the hardest part for me. It’s right at the beginning, so you’re exhausted after that. That was really what I focused on, making sure I was able to do that part. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders when I saw that I got it in time and was able to move on in the process because I really wanted to be hired here.”
“It’s a very surreal feeling,” said Pallikan. “I didn’t think that I would be making this kind of history. It’s pretty awesome and exciting for me and my family and I’m very honored to be the first female firefighter here at Lebanon and I’m excited and it gives me so many opportunities with this career alone and it’s just awesome.”