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EXCLUSIVE: Columbia's First, Only Female Firefighter Calls it a Career

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COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Columbia's first and only female firefighter is hanging up her helmet after 24 years of saving lives. At Fire Station #5 in Columbia there's a black Escalade with a pink Maltese cross that belongs to Captain Cindy Brunson. Columbia's first and only female firefighter, Brunson has been running into burning homes since 1990. Her helmet is scuffed by years of flames and ash, but it also carries reminders of the lives she's saved. On January 29, exactly 24 years after she started, Captain Brunson is closing the door on this chapter of her life.

Before Captain Brunson hangs up her gear for the last time, she wants families to know that while fighting fires is important, preventing them is even more so.

That's why Brunson and other firefighters visit area schools and teach kids about fire safety.

It's hard to say goodbye to 2 decades of saving lives, and Brunson knows what she'll miss the most. Brother or sister, this seasoned Captain says gender doesn't matter. What really counts is bravery and compassion.

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