Cascade Fire Department elects first female fire chief

CASCADE, Colo. - Cascade Fire Department has been around for 50 years.  

Nestled up next to the mountains is a little town with one zip code and an all-volunteer fire station.

"The commitment we do is pretty significant, we have to train at least once a month, we have to re-certify, we have a certain number of hours we meet each year," said Eric Eide, outgoing chief.

About 15 volunteers respond to the town's roughly 200 calls each year. 

"We are really here make sure people can be helped in a emergency situation," Eide said.

The group now has a new chief and she is their first female and the youngest chief ever elected. 

"She has a passion for firefighting, she has her whole life," said Eide.  

As a local she feels like she's the right person for the job.    

"Growing up here, you have a little more pride for growing up here, you put yourself forward a little bit more for the community," said Karen Bodine, Cascade's new fire chief.

"What she is going to bring is enthusiasm," said Eide.  

Eide said her passion and leadership is what landed her the job, regardless of her gender.  

"The fire service doesn't play that kind of card. We are all brother and sisters, we all do the same thing. I've worked up to it I really have," said Bodine.  

Bodine is also following in her father's footsteps. She's a second-generation crew member.  

"Being there when somebody needs you is the best feeling in the world," said Bodine.  

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