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Training San Antonio's future women firefighters

"I think anyone can be a hero if you try."

SAN ANTONIO — Heroes come in many different forms, shapes and sizes. Which is why the San Antonio Fire Department is looking towards the future and training up some of the city’s brightest young women at their its annual "Hero Like Her" summer camp.

“I think anyone can be a hero if you try,” Riley De La Cruz said, a participant in the program. 

It took just 48 hours for the all-day summer camp's slots to fill up.

“I just want to come here every year and experience more and excitement and how they make it so hands-on,” De La Cruz said.

For two days, aspiring female firefighters from ages 6 to 17 got to see, up close and in person, what it takes to wear the SAFD badge day in and day out.

“It’s important, this experience is authentic and real," SAFD Marketing Director Woody Woodward said. "It’s not just about help wanted come work for us. It’s really about relationship-building and bringing out the best in these young women."

The camp is also run by current female SAFD firefighters, which give the young women the perfect role models to look up to and learn from.

“The Hero Like Her" program is here to inspire young women, to give them the opportunity to know that there are different career paths and being a firefighter is one of them,” SAFD Firefighter Gabrielle Estrada said.

At the end of the day, when all of the hard work is done, not only do the girls learn about a new career field, but they learn a lot about themselves in the process.

“There are a couple of girls here that want to be firefighters, maybe this will give them a few years head start to say, 'I want to take the test and I can do it,'" Estrada said.

“10 out of 10, I would come here every day if I could. I just love it, it’s fun,” De La Cruz said.

SAFD's cadet training is about five and a half months long. To apply, you must be at least 19 years old, a high school graduate and have no prior felony convictions.

The application can be found on their website here