By Valerie Scott
Midwest City Beacon
Katey Lawson is the first female full-time firefighter at Mustang Fire Department. At just 23 years old, Lawson is not only a trained and certified firefighter but just graduated with her paramedic license last Sunday.
Lawson had just returned from a call when she shared how the team has been handling the heat.
“We’re drinking water like it’s going out of style right now,” said Lawson.
Lawson recently completed her one-year probation period at the Mustang Fire Station.
“Each station has a different way of operating. OKC has its procedures, Midwest City has theirs and for the past year I’ve been learning how Mustang runs its station,” said Lawson.
She graduated from Carl Albert High School and later attended Rose State College where she planned to pursue a degree in accounting. She changed her mind after learning more about a career in firefighting.
“I ran into a Fire Marshal and started talking with him, asking about the most recent fires and what all being a firefighter included,” said Lawson. “I immediately thought it sounded so cool.”
This is when Lawson’s true calling began. She earned EMS certification from the EOC Technology Center and continued her path towards becoming a firefighter.
“These past three years in the fire service I’ve grown and gained a lot of maturity. I was worried I wouldn’t like it, I told myself if it didn’t work out then I could try something else, but I ended up falling in love with every aspect.”
Outside of being an EMT and firefighter, she and her fiancé enjoy taking their two Great Danes out for hikes.
“I work out at Cross Fit Complete in Midwest City. Being active helps me both physically and mentally,” said Lawson.
Being a female in a male-dominated profession, Lawson has had to face some doubts and challenges.
“I am the first ever hired female firefighter for Mustang. I am very honored that Chief Craig trusted me enough to let me join the team. I’ve learned that I don’t require any slack from the guys. This is a hard job for men and women equally, but I am here to show that I can perform the exact same job the men are doing,” said Lawson. “I’ve gained several brothers and become a sister at the station.
I trust them with my life and I know they trust me with theirs.”
Craig Carruth, Fire Chief at Mustang, shared how thankful he is to have Katey on the team.
“She’s already become a huge asset to the team. She just now finished her paramedic license so she’ll be able to provide medical care now,” said Carruth. “Katey is always a hard worker and pours herself into her job. The Mustang Fire Department is happy to have her.”
The job of a firefighter and EMT is not for the faint-hearted and Lawson is anything but.
“There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with it. Someone’s life is in your hands. I get to help someone on their worst days and that is a gift most people don’t get to experience,” said Lawson. “I couldn’t imagine working in a cubical or really doing anything else.”