Women Making History
Sometimes an incident in life can be so impactful, it drives your career choice. Such is the case for firefighter Cynthia Reveles. Cynthia chose her career based on a terrible car accident which happened early in her life.
“My aunt was extricated from the vehicle by Las Vegas Fire and Rescue,” Cynthia says. “When I was considering careers, firefighting seemed like a great choice – the best and easiest decision I’d ever made.”
But it was not just the trauma of a car accident that drove Cynthia in the direction she headed. It was also a set of values ingrained in her from an early age. Her family inspired her through their own robust work ethics, their desire to help their fellow friends and neighbors, and their willingness to be available for those in need.
It took Cynthia time to get comfortable in her professional role.
“I was a bit intimidated at first for standing out – for being tiny and one of a few females,” Cynthia says. “I quickly realized that being a firefighter has nothing to do with gender – it’s all about heart and dedication.”
Along her journey to become a firefighter, Cynthia had to overcome unique challenges. One involved her size – while she was a Las Vegas Fire Explorer for five years. She had to come to grips with certain physical limitations and be creative in finding solutions.
“I’ve had help from my phenomenal brothers and sisters on the job,” Cynthia says. “Rachel Pierce who’s also an Engineer at the LVFR is someone I have always looked up to (both literally and figuratively). Rachel helped me realize that I can overcome any challenge that comes my way with hard work and imagination.”
Cynthia’s determination and dedication to her mission made her less aware of her gender as a firefighter. In fact, she was driven to success by always remembering why she was there.
“I believe everyone’s approach to being a firefighter is helping those in need and trying to make every situation better than when you arrived,” Cynthia explains. “Being male or female has nothing to do with it. How they accomplish that task may differ by every firefighter, but the result should always be the same.”
While everyone is aware that firefighting is a male-dominated field, Cynthia encourages women to pursue their dream. It takes an element of humility – the ability to let others assist in the process but, as Cynthia explains, it is worth it in the end.
“I know first-hand it can be intimidating, but if you don’t try to ask for help, the only person you’re hurting is yourself,” Cynthia says. “Everyone in the fire service is here to help you grow and be successful.”
Cynthia went on to thank her mentors, especially Captain John Harris, Captain Cory Whitlock and Captain Beau McDougall for their assistance in making her the accomplished firefighter she is today.
“They have always made me feel and believe that the sky is the limit and for that I will always be thankful,” Cynthia says. “Thanks to them, I strive to be a better version of myself and firefighter every day.”