GOSHEN — In the span of a couple of minutes, the Goshen Fire Department went from never having any female firefighters to having two.
Megan Berry and Hannah Estes were hired by the Goshen Board of Public Works and Safety Monday to fill two open firefighter positions on the Goshen Fire Department.
Both women have experience as firefighters and Berry is also an experienced paramedic.
Berry, of Huntington, said she has served as a volunteer and part-time firefighter with the Huntington Fire Department, Warsaw-Wayne Township Fire Territory and North Webster Fire Department.
“To serve my community and give back the best way I could,” Berry said. “I kind of fell in love with it when I started as a volunteer with my department in Huntington. I knew this is what I wanted to do from Day 1.”
Estes is from Elkhart and served as a paramedic for five months with the Penn Township Fire Department in St. Joseph County and also worked for the Concord Township Fire Department.
Of their distinctions as being the first two females on the Goshen department, Estes said, “Somebody has to be the first,” and Berry said, “I am happy to the be first.”
Goshen Fire Chief Dan Sink said both women were “wonderful candidates.”
He added that in the past very few females had applied to the department for firefighter positions.
The chief said the department was down seven people in June due to medical leaves and retirements. He said with the hiring of Berry and Estes the department should return to full strength by the end of the year.
“It started in EMS and EMT and paramedic school,” Estes said. “I really enjoyed everything through my ride time at the fire station (Goshen); the way they operated, the atmosphere at the station. So I really wanted to be a part of it.”