Fire in the belly

Alumna Caroline Carpenter was the first woman to graduate at the top of the Los Angeles Fire Department Academy—a testament to determination and grit

August 27, 2018


It had been a grueling 17 weeks of training, but Caroline Carpenter was on track to graduate from the Los Angeles Fire Department Academy—what recruits call “the Drill Tower”—when the unthinkable happened.

The 2013 Cowell College classical studies graduate had gotten high marks on skills like setting up 186-pound ladders and chopping holes into smoldering roofs when it came time for her last test. She was supposed to cut her way into a building using a heavy rotary saw. She fired up the tool and began to cut, realizing seconds into the maneuver that she’d forgotten to put on her safety glasses. Read the entire article here.