In The News

Women’s History Month spotlight – Melissa Adams

March 16, 2023

Melissa Adams is a lot of things to a lot of people. She’s a wife, mother, friend, education specialist at the Fire Academy, and approaching her twelfth year as a captain at the Ridgeway Station in the Fairfield County Fire Service. She’s naturally curious and inquisitive, and when her husband, Glenn Adams, was approached after church to be a driver, her interest in the fire service was sparked.

Glenn, now Ridgeway Assistant Chief, was enrolled in 1152 and Melissa would ask what he’d learned. When the tones went off in the middle of the night, she would travel with him on the dark country roads so he wouldn’t be by himself. They were—and still are—a team.

Melissa has a passion for making sure students understand concepts and skills because she knows the difficulty some have with school.

“I didn’t have the patience with teachers to help me learn completely, I learned enough to test,” Melissa said. She has a deep understanding of the importance of patience when teaching, and her heart is with the volunteers who may need a few more reps or a different approach when it comes to a skill.

She draws inspiration from the late Skip Hannon, the beloved instructor who taught her 1152 and whom she credits getting her love for apparatus pumping from, and emulates his patience and supportive persona when she’s teaching.

“I know exactly how I want to instruct and teach,” Melissa continued, “I want to take the time with the volunteers who have been left behind and tossed aside because they don’t fit what the station wants to be seen as. If it takes more than one time to do this teaching, I want to spend multiple times with that person. I don’t want them to be swept under the rug.”

Melissa is one of few women in the Fairfield County Fire Service and is in it for the long run. Her advice for women considering joining the fire service is simple: “Do not allow anyone to stop you.”

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