When three-year-old Callaway Norwood visits his grandma's house, he expects two things: a satisfying bowl of Cocoa Krispies and fire trucks. Lots of fire trucks. Toy fire trucks and videos of fire trucks.
Typical boy you might think.
Only in this family, it's not just the boys who love fire trucks.
In 1992, long before she was anyone's grandma, Debbie Powers became just the third woman to fight fires for the City of Olympia.
“People would say ‘Oh you're a fireman?’ and I would go ‘Oh Yeah’,” Powers said. “Fireman, Fire Woman. It didn't matter. I was just happy to be here, to be part of this team, part of this family. Call me whatever you want.”
Jenna Norwood was proud of her mom, even when she showed up in class dressed up as Sparky the Fire Dog.
“I knew it was cool,” she said. “ I knew other kids' moms weren't firefighters. I knew it was special.”
But Norwood never thought she'd follow in her mom's footsteps until one day when she was in her early twenties.
Powers remembered that day, “She goes ‘Hey Mom I think I want to be a firefighter’ and I just kind of almost fell over backward, like ‘What? Are you sure?’, and she goes ‘Yeah.’
Norwood remembered her mother’s advice, “She said if you want to do this, take the physical fitness agility test and you need to pass that to get a job, so do that first.”
The test would require Norwood to do a series of timed exercises with a 70-pound pack on her 120-pound frame.
“She trained for a year,” said Powers, “ Literally one year.’
Norwood passed her first time and in 2011 the Olympia Fire Department offered her a job. Every so often you'll find mother and daughter working together.
“We were told the apple doesn't fall far from the tree,” said Norwood, "and I'm that apple.”
Speaking of apples, you'll never guess what little boy was playing in the Incident Command Truck while we were getting video of Powers and Norwood... yep, Callaway.
“Everything that has to do with emergencies is very intriguing to him,” his mom said.
Callaway may not be alone. His baby sister Coralyn also seems to have a thing for fire trucks.
“You're going to be our third generation firefighter girl, aren't you?” Powers said to her little granddaughter.
“We'll see what she's into but I wouldn't be surprised,” said Norwood, “I wouldn't be surprised”.
At Station 4, fighting fires and saving lives is a family affair for two generations and counting.
Debbie Powers is retiring in June 2018 to spend more time with her grandkids.
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