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Teen is first Mt. Pleasant female volunteer firefighter

| Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011

Don't let her age or her size fool you. Fifteen-year-old Kimberly Wright of Mt. Pleasant is just as driven and dedicated as men who are older and larger, with a heart filled with determination for helping her fellow man.

Wright is the first female member of the Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department.

"I've always liked doing community service," Wright said. "I love helping people and I always have. Becoming a volunteer firefighter is just stepping it up a little bit."

The Mt. Pleasant Area High School student has taken safety and law enforcement classes at the vocational school in New Stanton.

She is starting with the Mt. Pleasant VFD as a junior fireman.

"She really wants to get out there and help," said Mt. Pleasant VFD Fire Chief Jerry Lucia. "She came into the department wanting to help and wanting to be a fireman. She may not be able to do what a 250-pound man can do, but she can help in other ways and she is just as important."

Wright's uncle is a volunteer firefighter. She said she wanted to follow in his footsteps.

Wright is looking forward to Feb. 23 when she will turn 16 and her responsibilities will increase.

"Right now since I'm 15, I can only go on the air (truck) but when I turn 16, I'll actually be able to help with rescues and I'll be able to help people more. I'll be able to go on more calls and help more," she said.

Lucia said all volunteer firemen are required to fulfill other volunteer work such as working the weekly bingo. Wright has become a major asset in the weekly fundraiser.

"The volunteers have to work one bingo every six months and most of them dread it," Lucia said. "She's been great. She comes every week."

Since she started, Wright has already assisted on eight calls and is anxious to do more.

"I'm looking forward to when I'm 16 and I'll be able to do more than just stand back and watch," Wright said.

Wright plans to become a Pennsylvania State Trooper and will continue to volunteer for her local fire department.

Wright is the daughter of Brandy McNair and Matthew Pletcher.

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