Sunset Beach Fire Department hires first female full-time firefighter

The Sunset Beach Fire Department has hired its first full-time female firefighter. Alexis Yoho, 21, is the town’s first full-time female firefighter.

Yoho says she loves going out on calls.

“Definitely gets your adrenaline going, a lot of things going through your mind. Every scene is different so you always have to think about what you’re doing,” Yoho said. “It was definitely a privilege to be offered the position of full time.”

Yoho was a part time staff member for about a year and half but she began her journey toward this career much earlier.

“I started as a volunteer when I was 16 at a neighboring department so I could start taking my classes,” Yoho said.

Yoho says she was inspired by her father.

“I grew up around it. My dad is a firefighter. He started when I was little so I grew up around it my whole life,” Yoho said. “So seeing him go on calls it was always something in my blood I wanted to do.”

Sunset Beach Fire Chief Kevin Dempsey says when he worked with Yoho’s father years ago, he saw her excitement for the career. He says bringing her up to full time was an easy decision.

“I remember her when she was about knee high,” Dempsey said.

He says she is fearless.

“You really don’t get a feel for a fireman until you go into a fire with them. I knew right then she had no fear,” said Dempsey.

And as a woman in a male-dominated career field Yoho says she has a great support system.

“The guys are always willing to help, never gave me a hard time or anything, they were there to help me train,” Yoho said.

Chief Dempsey says they usually try to bring up part-time firefighters when a full-time position opens instead of searching outside the station.

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