Albany's first female firefighter in nearly 20 years

Albany's fire department welcomes its first female firefighter in nearly twenty years.

Training to become a firefighter isn't an easy task. Recruits have to go through 8 different stations to pass the test.

Weighing in at just 120 pounds, the wife and mother is the first female firefighter to join the Albany Fire Department in 18 years.

Erin Engstrom trained vigorously to be able to pass the physical tests.

"I started lifting weights a couple times a week and running a few times a week... just building up my strength," Engstrom said.

"For women, the ceiling breach is tough... to lift up the 80 pound ceiling with your arms. So that was a little bit tough. Dummy drag is always tough, but there are techniques and the stair machine... carrying 75 pounds on my frame is pretty hard."

Chief Warren Abriel says he's pleased to welcome Erin to the team.

"It proves that female candidates can pass the CPAT test. There have been female candidates all over the country that have passed," Abriel said.

Her friends who were at today's ceremony are hoping Erin can change the face of the department.

"I'm very proud. I started to cry when mayor Sheehan recognized how important it is for women and young girls to see women in professions that you normally don't see them," Jennifer Lange, Engstrom's friend said.

Erin wants to be a role model for women looking to follow in her footsteps.

"Anything you can put your heart to, your mind to, your determination. You can do anything."