|Peng Juan receives training with her teammates.|
Peng Juan was born in 1991 in Xiangxiang, a city administered by Xiangtan, in Central China's Hunan Province. She is the only woman firefighter assigned to the firehouse on Ji'an Road, in Xiangtan. Peng works as hard — and is every bit as brave — as her male counterparts. Because she wears a blue uniform when she is on duty, Peng is referred to as "a blue rose blossoming in fire."
A Woman Firefighter Does Not Retreat
"Juan, buddy, come on!" During training in Xiangtan, members of a firefighting team encourage Peng, the only female member of her team. "They used to call me 'Sis Juan,' but now, they prefer to call me 'buddy,' the same way as they call each other. I think the change means they have fully accepted me and approved of my ability like my male counterparts," Peng says.
|Peng Juan poses for a photo in front of a firefighting truck.|
After they heard about Peng's decision, many of her relatives and friends doubted whether a woman could endure the hardship of being a firefighter. After all, firefighters often risk their lives on the job. Her critics thought the job would be too dangerous, and, thus, not suitable for Peng. However, Peng said, "Women firefighters can fulfill the mission as well as men. In fact, we have women firefighters in various places across China."
To improve her physical conditioning, and to catch up with her teammates in daily training, Peng asked the trainer to design a personal-training plan for her. Although she was exhausted, and her body ached each day after training, Peng refused to stop. Instead, she spent extra hours training. The end result? Her body grew stronger.
|Peng Juan performs rope rescue.|
Attentive to Her Buddies
In addition to improving her physical conditioning, Peng studies examples of successful fire rescues. She takes notes to help her grasp the information needed for arranging a rescue mission. She learns from experienced firefighters how to arrange a team to complete a rescue more safely and efficiently.
Due in part to the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) this year, many of the firefighters did not gather with their families during the Spring Festival holiday. Peng chatted with those firefighters, to help reduce their homesickness. She suggested members of her team make dumplings together during weekends, so they would feel like they were with their families.
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