CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Let’s make one thing perfectly clear about Clemson University Fire Department Captain Jessica Landreth, she loves, absolutely loves, being a firefighter.
“I am a third-generation firefighter,” Landreth said. “My dad got into it because his uncle was a firefighter, my dad became one. My brother is also a firefighter.”
When did she know firefighting was in her future? “Probably at 5 years old. We’d go to the fire department, and I’d get into the fire trucks. Act like I was driving around,” according to Landreth. “I knew at that point I was going to be a firefighter in some capacity for the rest of my life.”
Christmas will mark 18 years for Landreth with CUFD. She’s also the Chief of the Sandy Springs Fire Department.
Fewer than one in ten firefighters, 8%, in the United States are female according to the National Fire Protection Association’s latest numbers. However, Landreth tells 7NEWS the job is the same.
“Being a female firefighter, I don’t feel that I’m any different. I’m expected to do the same job. I’m expected to have the same strength the guys do.”
“I do feel as a female I do have a different compassion for certain things at different levels of kindness than men don’t typically have.”
Landreth told us, “the road has been, but it is for every firefighter because you’re always learning.”
She is also confident another generation of her family will wind up in the fire service.
“I have a niece who is 2 years old, but I have no doubt in my mind that she’s going to be a firefighter. Because everything is fire trucks, fire gear and she’ll be driving a fire truck with a princess outfit.”