GREENSBORO, N.C. — Carol Key keeps climbing the ladder within the Greensboro Fire Department. From firefighter to the captain to battalion chief, she's racked up experience throughout her career. Her last promotion was a big one!
"I didn't even realize, when I got my promotion, I am like the only female in the department that has actually stayed in emergency services up to the rank of battalion chief and I am proud of that," Key said.
In September, Key will mark 24 years at the Greensboro Fire Department, a place she never imagined she'd work. After a 10-year stint in art design in California, a firefighter gave her a new career idea.
"This person actually suggested that I might be good at it and I thought that he was crazy," Key said.
Key investigated, came back home to Greensboro and the rest is history.
"Just so happens that my husband and I met a year and a half before going into the fire service," Key said. "He had the same desires that I did and we ended up being in the same recruit class together!"
She and her husband are the only married couple to do recruit training together in Greensboro. Carol said they even battled a fire together in the early 2000s.
"We were there overnight and the sun was coming up, but I look down and I am like, 'there's Kevin,'" Key said. "If I remember correctly, I was like 'HEYYY!!' Ya know yelling!"
Today, you won't find Key fighting fires anymore, but she is giving the commands. She oversees seven captains and is front on the scene directing the firefighters on how to respond to the emergency.
"And I'm proud of that," Key said.
Key said other women should try it to inspire the next generation of women firefighters.
"There are a lot of women out there that are strong enough to do this job," Key said.