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The Houston Fireplace Fighters Calendar is again and there’s a twist for the primary time: feminine heroes are blended in with the anticipated shirtless, greased-up, muscle-bulging, beefcake guys.

Tara Grace, 45, adorns the month of December. She is an lively hearth fighter, a 19-year veteran of the Houston Fireplace Division, assigned to Station 42 close to the Ship Channel. That is her first expertise as a calendar lady.

The 2023 Houston Fireplace Fighters Calendar is on the market for $35 — plus $6 for delivery — on-line. The calendar was produced by the Houston Skilled Fireplace Fighters Affiliation Charitable Basis, benefitting the its Burned Kids’s initiative.

We caught up with “TARA FIREFIGHTER” as she’s billed on the calendar. Grace is pictured sporting a comparatively modest crimson tank high and regulation tan hearth fighter pants. She is holding a cat.

CultureMap: Critically, when was the final time you climbed a tree to rescue a cat? Is that even a factor for hearth fighters anymore?

Tara Grace: Not essentially climbed a tree to get a cat down, however we really do rescue animals which might be trapped inside a home hearth fairly regularly.

I’ve rescued a number of canines over the previous couple of years. One of many issues that’s cool in regards to the calendar is we’ve got some rescue animals in a number of of the photographs. I feel that’s superior. I used to be glad to do this half.

CultureMap: What attracted you to change into a fireplace fighter?

TG: I heard about it whereas I used to be a private coach in a well being membership. It at all times me. I didn’t have any relations who have been within the hearth division or something like that. I had at all times heard extra about feminine cops than hearth fighters.

I met some people in the course of the Houston Livestock Present and Rodeo that launched me to some feminine hearth fighters. I simply stepped out and gave it a whirl. It was a problem and I completely liked that a part of it.

CultureMap: Did it’s a must to audition for the calendar or did any person simply say you’re going to be the December mannequin?

TG: I did should audition and that was extra nerve wracking than doing the picture shoot. You’re in entrance of your friends, a proper choice committee. Should you’re not used to that, it’s a really unusual expertise. It’s extra than simply attempting to look cute.

CultureMap: You’re not sporting a bikini or posed in a sexually provocative place. Was that on objective?

TG: We needed to point out that there are feminine hearth fighters and we’re sturdy. We’re additionally a restricted quantity. We’re lower than three p.c of the hearth fighters in Houston. It’s necessary that we’re represented within the calendar this time.

I like my picture. We have been in a home that really simply burned down every week previous to my photographs so it was a extremely cool setting. Plus, I’m proud that the calendar raises consciousness of the burn kids.

CultureMap: Do hearth fighters actually slide down poles?

TG: I’ve completed that. I slid down one a few weeks in the past once I was at Station 20. However they don’t make stations anymore with poles.

CultureMap: How usually do you reply to a fireplace?

TG: It’s fairly common. We reply for lots of automobile fires and truck fires. There are warehouses by my station. We even have a neighborhood. One current day, we had two automobile fires and one home hearth. So, it’s hit and miss.

CultureMap: Do hearth fighters sleep on the station? What’s your schedule like?

TG: All of us sleep within the dorm collectively like one huge, glad household. It’s like an evening out tenting. I’m tenting with the dudes. It’s a minimal of two 24-hour shifts every week. We work 6:30 am to six:30 am shifts. The town is brief on staffing proper now so typically we work three days in a row.

CultureMap: Are hearth fighters actually nice cooks? How would you price your self?

TG: You’ll be able to ask the blokes in my station: I consider that a number of of us have some magic cooking expertise for certain. Like final night time, I made beef teriyaki with greens and Jasmine rice and vegetable egg rolls.

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Assist the Houston Skilled Fireplace Fighters Affiliation Charitable Basis and its Burned Kids’s initiative by buying the 2023 Houston Fireplace Fighters Calendar on-line.

Contact Ken at ken@culturemap.com.

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