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Off Central: Valley girls take part in first responder preparedness course

(Photo: Mesa Police Department)
LISTEN: Off Central Aspire Academy

PHOENIX — This Valley girl is only 16 years old – but she already knows she wants a career in public safety.

“Everyone always says I love to help people,” Megan Alexander said, “but I really do. That’s where my passion is – it’s where my heart is.”

The Tempe teen – the daughter of a Mesa firefighter – is one of 31 girls at this week’s Aspire Academy, hosted this year by the Mesa Police Department.

The teens learn, among other things, how to roll fire hoses, defensive driving and how to defend themselves as a police officer or firefighter would.

They even learn how to investigate crime scenes, write reports, and rappel down buildings.

Alexander said it was all fun – and was cool learning how police officers work. She said it just strengthens her resolve to work in public safety.

“The family that comes with it – it’s like nothing else,” she said. “You really just don’t see it in any other profession.”

Alexander said her biggest role models this week has been her teachers.

“All of them … picking one is too hard,” she said. “They are all amazing women; they’ve all worked extremely hard, and earned their spots on their teams.”

The Academy is a four-day-long daily camp. It is hosted by a different public-safety agency every year.

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