Sharon Doyle, Firefighter/EMS
Neversink Fire Department
Years in service: 20
Occupation: Retired corrections officer, U.S. veteran
It was one day after college when Sharon Doyle was invited to a drill and right there she heard the calling.
“I thought, this is the best. They shook my hand and called me ‘partner’.” And she joined.
The first few years weren’t easy. The training schedule was demanding; finding the elusive work-life-volunteer balance near impossible, and 20 years ago she was a bit of an anomaly in the local fire service.
The biggest challenge back? Acceptance as a woman firefighter, she says, “not a fireman.”
She remembers one particular call, a serious car accident with entrapment. The car was on its side against a tree
“No one was able to reach the patient,” she says. “I dressed in protective gear and was boosted into the car. I evaluated the patient and used a tarp to protect him as the car was cut apart around us.” All the while, “The patient was amazed that a woman was helping him.”
The injured man was freed from the car, but Doyle still had work to do.
“After the roof was removed, I dumped the glass out of my boots and drove the ambulance to the trauma center,” she says. “The young man was ok. High fives all around.”