Red alert! This girl's on fire.
Never one to sit still, Shana has a self-diagnosed case of (fire) ants in the pants. Symptoms include an adventurous nature, a drive to volunteer and holding down a very physical job — firefighting.
If you ask Shana whether she dreamt of being a firefighter, her answer will surprise you. As a kid, she had a million different occupational ideas — and firefighting was not one of them. It was actually a recent and spontaneous career move.
She saw an opportunity, set her sights
on it — and she applied.
What was the draw of firefighting? Shana wanted to do something drastically different from her work in front of a computer. She wanted to help people, she wanted to do physical work, and she only had one reservation — she didn't know what to expect on the job.
Most often, firefighting runs in the family, or someone is inspired to join the profession because of someone they know. Shana didn't have that connection. She didn't know a soul, so she struck out on her own.
And just like anyone in a new job — she had to prove herself. Once she did, though, she says that she earned herself a "big bunch of brothers."
Shana feels rewarded by the work she does, and counts her biggest accomplishments — not by the size of the job, but by the size of the effect it has on the people she's helped. Stopping a small fire before it consumes a family's possessions or helping someone in a medical emergency, and hearing that they've recovered, are reasons that she loves her job.
It's not all work for Shana, though. How does she unwind? She gets outside, and she stays active.
She has a dog named Remi, "a happy, healthy tank of a dog" that lives to go, go, go — just like Shana. She has an aluminum canoe, that's heavy but bulletproof, that she cruises the Minneapolis lakes with. And she's got a motorcyle that she cruises the Minneapolis roads with. Not to mention the running, the bicycle riding and the hiking.
In the midst of all this activity, Shana volunteers, teaching science to kids at a local museum. She says that it's "great fun to see kids exposed to complicated topics for the first time and to be amazed, because they have such fun, interesting and uninhibited ideas." It gives them a safe place to try ideas, make mistakes and learn — all valuable life skills.
And not far from how Shana lives her own life. Ready to try anything and ready to work for it.