“If you can get on with fire, DO IT!”
These words would prove to change the course of Communications Specialist, April Horn’s life.
If you’re not sure what a communication specialist is, they are the FIRST, First Responder. Maybe more commonly known as 911 or Emergency Dispatchers, a communication specialist is the first voice of help in an emergency. They assure the panicked, calm the frightened and direct the lost.
April never saw herself as that voice. She worked at In-N-Out for 13 years, five of which she was in a management position, but always wondered if there was something else that she was capable of doing. When she saw a posting for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department dispatch, she decided to go for it.
“It was a very long hiring process and very competitive, but I fell in love with the job itself.”
Challenging, very competitive, and intense were the words she used to describe the training, but it turns out her biggest battle wasn’t with the job itself. It was being a single mom working to provide a comfortable life for her son.
“Any mother out there will tell you that “mom guilt” never goes away and is a real thing,” says April. “The stress of missing out on any sport activities such as games or awards they receive at school or even kindergarten graduations. Working overtime or having different schedules during training, being gone for weeks at a time during management classes. It has all definitely been a challenge.”
But through it all, her son has remained her source of inspiration.
“My only hope is that he grows up and learns the importance of balancing home and work life and self-discipline, to work hard for what he wants and that it’s not always going to be easy. Challenges make us who we are.”
April approached her training as she did motherhood—with great passion—and beat out the competition to be hired as a communications specialist with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2017. But all throughout her training, and even after being released, she kept hearing the praises of working for Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.
“If you can get on with Fire, DO IT!”
Encouraged and intrigued, April signed up for a sit along with LVFR Communications. After that day, she immediately knew she was going to apply when the opportunity presented itself. We are happy to have had April as an official part of the fire service family for the past year!
While communication specialists are predominately female, April felt the pressures many women feel while going through management at In-N-Out as most of the store managers were male. She was able to channel this into a positive outlook while pursuing her new career.
“It was always a competition and I always felt that if I didn’t stay and work longer hours, knowing my son was at home waiting for me, I’d be criticized for choosing to leave at my scheduled time off,” recalls April. “My advice for any female going into a male-dominated career would be to go in with the mindset knowing 100 percent that this is what you want and you’re not going to let anyone stand in the way of your goals.”
“Carry your confidence like it’s nobody’s business and know your stuff,” she continues. “Male or female, I truly believe you can do anything you put your mind to.”