Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Texas fire department hires first female firefighter in its history

It took 105 years, but the Harlingen Fire Department finally has its first female firefighter.

Bree Rios, 25, was 4 years old when she decided that she was going to join the fire department in Harlingen, Texas, when she was an adult. Her dad, Victor Rios, is a firefighter, and "she used to always tell me, 'One day, I'll be working with you, Daddy,'" he told People. "Twenty years later, here she is and I couldn't be any prouder. She has certainly earned this opportunity."

Cirio Rodriguez, the station's assistant fire chief, said women have applied to work for the Harlingen Fire Department before, but did not score high enough on the exam or decided to become border patrol or police officers. "All of us here are so proud of Bree — she did this all on her own," he said. Bree Rios was working as an EMT before becoming a firefighter in April, after she passed the firefighter exam on her third try. "I'd like to tell other girls and young women to go after their dreams," she told People. "I'm proof that if you want something badly enough, it can happen."