Find Station

Mother-Daughter Firefighter Team Breaks the Mold

Jalisa Pinnix's will to want to help people influenced her mother to pursue an unexpected career choice.

Jalisa's mother, Jacqueline Pinnix is a Washington D.C. native who's taken the emergency response industry by storm. The EMT served 17 years with DC Fire and EMS. She never knew of her daughter having any interest in her job field as a child. However, it was a pleasant surprise when Jalisa decided she wanted to be a firefighter after admitting she'd always been proud of her mom's EMT work. Nay-sayers were sure to share their opinions. She toldWUSA9:

“There were a lot of people telling me, 'You shouldn’t be doing firefighting, you’re so small, or you’re a female, there’s a lot of men that do that job.'"

Several physical and mental tests later, Jalisa graduated from training in Sept. 2017.

A major accomplishment for her offspring shined a light in Jacqueline. With new inspiration and no where else to grow in the EMT industry, she was ready to conquer something new. The 49-year-old decided she wanted to be a firefighter too! Her age being a factor caused her to start off self-conscious, but it was put in the back of her mind when it came down to making her dreams a reality.

“I thought I was too scared to become a firefighter, too scared to run into a fire… that’s all I put in my head,”

Her daughter was nothing short of supportive, pushing her to complete the endeavor. Jacqueline was "shocked" when she graduated training exactly a year after her daughter.

"I want people to know no matter how old you are, or whatever is going on, you should set goals for yourself... even if people are telling you, 'You're too old to do that,' or 'You're too young to do that.'"

Jalisa added,

“A lot of females my age, they’re scared for this career, cause they feel like it’s male dominated, so they won’t be able to do it. You can do the same thing any male can do."

Photo: WUSA 9/ Tegna