Do you have what it takes to be a Cincinnati firefighter?

CINCINNATI -- Keshia Terry was working at Jack Casino when an acquaintance steered her toward her real calling: Working as a paramedic and firefighter with the Cincinnati Fire Department.

"It's so nice to go to a person who is in pain or is hurting or is dying, and you can actually make a difference," she said. "'Wow, that person is okay because of something that I did or alive because of something that I did.'"

She's also a recruiter, and she's looking for more cadets who might not always have imagined themselves as emergency responders. Hundreds of current firefighters will retire by the end of the decade, meaning hundreds of newbies will need to fill their positions.

The requirements to apply include a high school diploma or GED, a driver's license and the ability to pass a written exam, a physical agility test and an oral interview.

Terry added one more: "Courage. Just the courage to go into unknown situations and keep calm."

The Cincinnati Fire Department will accept applications online until March 19 and hold an in-person application blitz at the Downtown library March 16.

Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply, Terry said.

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