For the first time in its 36 years, the city of Atascadero has hired a woman as a full-time firefighter.
Collette Layton started her first shift as an emergency medical technician Thursday, a city news release said.
Layton was hired by the department as a reserve firefighter in 2012.
After graduating from the Emergency Medical Technician Program at Cuesta College, Layton enrolled in the fire academy at Allan Hancock College, traveling from her full-time job in Atascadero to the Lompoc campus most nights and weekends for a year, the city said.
After the academy, Layton was hired as a seasonal firefighter with the department.
“Pursuing a career with the fire service is unique in the investment of time and effort required to be a legitimate contender for any job opening,” Layton said in the news release. “Without a doubt, it is worth every sacrifice you make along the way.”
“I cannot express how very happy and proud we all are of Firefighter Layton’s accomplishments and look forward to seeing her grow and promote with our department,” fire Chief Kurt Stone said in the news release.