On this Mother’s Day 2022, join us in giving flowers to our FDNY moms who continue to serve as an inspiration to their children as a parent, first responder and so much more. Today, you also get to meet Engine 234 Firefighters Anita Daniel and Jazmin Thomas, and Station 45 Paramedic Vanessa Alveari, as well as their children.
In 2020, history was made yet again at Engine 234 when Thomas joined Daniel as the third woman Firefighter ever to serve at the Crown Heights firehouse. Daniel is the second woman and the two noted that in addition to being a part of their firehouse family, working together so closely has enabled them to have a sisterly bond.
“Words can’t even describe how special it is working in this firehouse and working with Anita. If I ever need help with learning more about the fire ground or even help with my children, we back each other up 100 percent. We’re a family here,” Thomas said.
“I got to experience being the only woman in the firehouse for a while, and it was wonderful because I do have a lot in common with a lot of the guys here, but to have another woman here in the firehouse has been the best. We support each other in so many ways and working here with Jazmin who is such an amazing, talented and driven woman has made me love this career even more,” Daniel added.
Both moms also noted that working in this heroic career is rewarding in more ways than one.
“My mother is a NYPD police officer and she encouraged me to take all of the city tests and become a public servant. It was the best advice because that’s how I started working here. It’s amazing being a Firefighter mom. I really enjoy when my daughter comes home from school and tells me stories of how she tells her friends that I’m a FDNY Firefighter and I love that my kids are learning so much about this career because I work here. They are fully engaged and excited whenever they visit the firehouse or they see a company ride by,” said Daniel, who joined in 2014. “Working in the Crown Heights community has really been a game changer for me. I realize how important it is for black and brown children to see me and Jazmin on the fire trucks riding around helping people. It’s important and I hope seeing us working here and knowing that Firefighters are here to help them inspires many of the young people in this community to consider this as a career.”
“I worked as an EMT here for eight years before becoming a Firefighter and this career has been another way for me to serve the community. I also wanted to have a great schedule for my sons. Being a mother is so important to me and this career allows me to spend so much more time with them. Their father is a Firefighter as well and I decided to join this career to also show them that ‘mommy’ is strong too. I trained extremely hard for this job, almost two years non-stop, and it was right after I had my second son Jaire. My Mentor Firefighter Tenisha Forbes, Anita and so many women on this job helped me prepare for it and they always shared words of encouragement through this whole process,” added Thomas, who joined our fire suppression in 2018. “When people see a woman Firefighter in this community, they are amazed and to see that Anita and I are black women Firefighters is even more special to them. We talk to the people who walk by the firehouse all the time and we want them to always remember that we’re here to help them.”
“I was with the Department for 12 years, but I’ve been working in EMS for 21 years. I come from a Puerto Rican family and was born and raised in Brooklyn. Joining the Department felt like a calling for me,” said Alveari. “When Ashton was a few months old, we were outside, and I saw a woman that looked like me in the FDNY uniform going into a coffee shop. I always knew I wanted to help people, but that moment was the moment I knew I was going to join. It felt like a premonition. I joined as an EMT and was a part of the Medic Upgrade Program in 2012. Ashton is my only son, and I am so proud of him. I always supported him in whatever he wanted to do, and when he joined the same Department as me, I was ecstatic. One of the most important things I emphasize to him is follow your dreams no matter where they take you. It’s important to be a parent and allow your child to have their dream and support them no matter what.”
“My mom has also been my biggest supporter, but little does she know I’m her number one fan. She has been a great inspiration for me as I watched her work as a first responder growing up. She inspired me to join the Department and always encourages me to create my own path,” added Ashton, who joined in 2018. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work as her backup on some jobs and see her in work mode. She’s dedicated, knowledgeable, and a great leader. There aren’t enough words to say about her as a mom. She’s amazing.”
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