ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Two female firefighters in Albany are making history.
Tawanna Maples and Christy Bengis are the first female firefighters to be promoted to Apparatus Operating Engineer, or AOE.
With their new promotions, each woman will not only be the person behind the wheel driving the truck to emergencies, but they will also have to make sure all of the equipment needed is on the truck, and operational.
"A lot of people don't understand the type of job it is until they get here," said Bengis. "They think it's just maybe small fires or something, but when they get here, they realize it's something different. Anybody can do it, you just have to put your mind to it and go for it."
"I hope that we can inspire other women to come up behind us, and even go up the chain and become the first lieutenant, or captain, or chief one day," said Maples. "So hopefully, we can inspire young girls and young ladies."
Maples has been with the department for four years.
Bengis followed in her father's footsteps, and joined the Albany Fire Department in 2002.
Both women will start their new roles this Saturday.