Niles hires first woman firefighter


Girl power!

For the first time in the city's history, the Niles Fire Department has hired a woman to be a firefighter.

Nichole Vanderwerf isn't necessarily the first lady to help the Niles Fire Department fight fires, but the chief says she is the only woman to do paid shift work.

Vanderwerf is part-time, but she is paving the way for more girls to be firefighters in the future.

She has wanted to be a firefighter since being a little girl. It runs in the family, because her dad is a firefighter, too.

"I wasn't sure if I was actually going to get to that point of my life where I could actually say, 'I'm getting paid to do what I love to do.' But, I guess I'm just another one of the guys. I love being out here, and I love fighting fire."

Vanderwerf has already worked two shifts and has been able to go out on some medical calls.