Morganton hires first female firefighter in 7 years

MORGANTON, N.C. — The City of Morganton has hired its first female firefighter in seven years.

Heaven Henning is Morganton Public Safety’s newest firefighter. The 19-year-old is the department’s first full-time female firefighter since 2017, they said.

Henning got involved in the fire academy in high school, becoming a volunteer firefighter at Triple Community Fire Department.

“For me, it has always been the service aspect that I enjoy. I want to help people in any way that I can,” she said in a statement.

Henning spoke to Channel 9′s Dave Faherty on Wednesday. She showed him the truck she rides while responding to fire calls.

Henning encouraged other women who may be trying to enter male-dominated fields.

“If you listen to what you know is right that this is your dream you can do anything you really want to do,” she told Faherty.

Engineer Jose Bao showed Faherty where Henning ran on 244 calls for the Triple Community Fire Department last year in Burke County, where she is a volunteer firefighter.

“She’s what we’re looking for in a firefighter,” Bao said. “Highly motivated, wants to do the job and wants to learn. And those are the biggest things you need as a firefighter.”

Henning has already gotten her certification as a firefighter. The department says she’s undergoing an additional 240 hours of training, learning to fight fires and serve her community.

“I like running fires, I like training,” she said. “So the hardest thing is seeing the community in need and also be there emotionally for them.”

She said it was during her time as a volunteer that she made the decision to make it a career.

“Just being around the camaraderie, and the training, and just how much they love their job, and just seeing people love what they do,” she said.

On her days off, Henning works part-time with Burke EMS and continues to volunteer at the fire department near Drexel.

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