As a star athlete with a master’s degree, Morgan Yuhas knew her dream job was not behind a desk. She needed something that challenged her mentally and physically and allowed her to work within a team environment. Becoming a firefighter checked all the boxes.
But someone else also played a critical role in inspiring Morgan’s career path.
“I have to say that my dad was my biggest influence in getting me to look at a career where I could be a part of something bigger, where I could make a difference and have the opportunity to better myself every day,” says Morgan. “He encouraged me to find a career that challenged me every day and allowed me to be who I already was; yet provided me an opportunity to grow. To this day he calls me and asks me ‘Morgan, how was work? What did you learn today?’”
Graduating Magna Cum Laude with a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and being voted first team all-conference in softball twice, Morgan is no stranger to working hard and pushing through challenges.
Learning is something she says has done every day of the 2 ½ years she has been with Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.
“Being a firefighter is more than being physically fit. I had to learn a completely foreign skill set. I knew nothing about the technical aspects of being a firefighter,” admits Morgan. “This job is so much more than the typical stereotype. I was legitimately back in school learning a completely new trade, and I am learning more about the job every day.”
This includes learning more about herself and what she’s made of. Despite her success in school and the softball field, Morgan found herself second-guessing her abilities as she started her journey in the fire service.
“Because this job was so foreign to me initially, I had some self-doubt along the way. We are all stronger than we give ourselves credit for,” says Morgan. “My advice to those aspiring to join the fire service: don’t quit. Giving up is not an option. There is always more to give.”
That mindset is what kept Morgan pushing beyond her limits. She knew she was different than her male counterparts, but she also knew it did not matter. Fires, car accidents and medical emergencies didn’t take gender into account, and neither would she. Morgan set out to be a firefighter that her crew could count on to perform, no matter what.
“I don’t roll up on scene as a female firefighter, I roll up on scene as an LVFR firefighter,” says Morgan. “On occasion, people only see me as a “female firefighter”. It only makes me work that much harder. I am a firefighter first.”