Alamogordo Fire Department Recognized Womens History Month


March was Womens History Month and the Alamogordo Fire Department spotlighted via social media posts and releases three stories of is proud trailblazers for women’s careers in the fire service. Women in the United States have been serving in the fire service much longer than most realize, with records dating back 200 years.

The first woman, and first Black woman recorded in the United States to serve as a firefighter was Molly Williams. Williams was a slave in New York City, who became a member of Oceanus Engine Company #11. In 1818, a blizzard hit Manhattan and many men grew ill. Williams served in their place. Oceanus records have said she was “as good a fire laddie as many of the boys.”

Her story can be found in the children’s book “Molly, By Golly” for future firefighters! AFD paid respect to Williams for her bravery, service, and for paving the way for women today.

Speaking of trailblazers, did you know AFD has a few of their own? Meet 10-year Air Force Veteran AND Firefighter Estrella Martinez! Estrella made history nearly 5 years ago as the first woman ever to be hired on at Alamogordo Fire Department after the 2014 split from the Department of Public Safety. Estrella is dubbed as “Superstar” around the department.

Estrella graduated from Cloudcroft High School in 2008 and joined the Air Force as a firefighter. Stationed at Cannon, she had two tours overseas, with deployments to Iraq in 2010, and to Kyrgyzstan in 2013. She cross-trained to Broadcast Journalist after 6 years of firefighting and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and then deployed to Al Dhafra, United Arab Emirates in 2015. Her ambitions continued as she joined the Air Force Reserves and cross-trained again as a Special Missions Aviation Airman in Monthan Air Force Base and spent her last two years of enlistment in multiple schools for that career.

After 10 years of military service, she separated and joined the Forest Service as a Wildland Firefighter on the Engine Crew for the Sacramento Ranger District in 2019. After a summer of wildland, she applied for the Alamogordo Fire Department as a Structural Firefighter and has been here since. At AFD she is known to be exceptionally hardworking, intelligent and highly effective on the fire ground. Estrella holds many advanced certifications and is an acting Lieutenant.

Estrella is a prime example for the advancements and successes women have accomplished across multiple career paths where women are minorities. She continues to set the bar high, as well as being an inspiration for men and women entering the fire service. We pay our respects to FF Martinez for her outstanding contributions she has made for her community and her country.

When asked what she loves about being a Firefighter, this was her response:

"Everyday I come into work, it's always something new. I never know what is going to unfold for that day and better yet, I get to help out my community. I like being a fixer, and being of service to people, or thinking of ways to mitigate incidents is a huge plus for me and my personality.

I didn't grow up in Alamogordo per se, but being from Cloudcroft, I have great pride in our area, the people, and how we all live together. I want to help provide a safe place for all, just like the ones before me did for my generation when I was younger. After travelling the world on my many adventures in life, I can say I came back for a reason. This area is not just where the nostalgia of my childhood lives, but it is the one place that feels like home.

The people of this city are down to earth and hardworking. When driving in our city, people will wave at you as you pass by on the street, you'll see local churches out helping the needy, and you'll also see the pride and respect we have for our military members that we share this beautiful community with. I hope to keep serving this community with the best of my ability as a firefighter because I truly love what I do. And in celebration of Women's History Month, I hope that some little girl out there is inspired to do the same for hers one day.” -FF Estrella Martinez

Alamogordo Fire Department

Alamogordo Fire Department would like to recognize another woman in honor of  Women’s History Month who has made exceptional contributions to our community and country. Amanda Renner is an Air Force Veteran and our Administrative Assistant.

Amanda joined the Air Force in 1997 and was an Aircraft Armament Technician on HH-60 Pave Hawk Helicopters for the 41st Rescue Squadron based out of Moody AFB in Georgia. She was deployed to several places including Kuwait, Turkey and Africa.

At AFD she wears many hats, and without her efforts our department wouldn’t function. She takes care of budgeting, payroll, manages inquiries from the public, schedules events, and orders necessities for the department, and much more. Keep in mind, many departments have multiple assistants to keep up with the demands of fire department administration, and Amanda does it all here at AFD.

Amanda keeps up the morale of the department and hosts Taco Tuesday at the station to get us all together, and will give any fireman a run for their money in a game of smack talk! We appreciate Amanda for all she has done for her community and country.

“I love being able to contribute to the department as a support staff. I take pride in my work making sure that the firefighters receive the items they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.” -Amanda Renner

Alamogordo Fire Department

Congratulations to the fine firefighters recognized by the Alamogordo Fire Department for Womens History Month 

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