A Jacksonville firefighter can now claim to be a cover girl after “Good Housekeeping” featured her and WWE & Hollywood star John Cena together.
Cena picked Lori Byrd, who has been with the Jacksonville Fire Department for two years, as part of a national search where regular people submitted their personal heroes. “I wanted to use the buzz around my new movie, Playing With Fire (I play a smoke jumper), to showcase real rescuers,” says John. “So I teamed up with Good Housekeeping and put out the call for people to nominate a hero who inspired them.”
Byrd has a unique story about how she became a firefighter. In 2010, Byrd was a bank manager who dove into a retention pond to save a woman and her son from drowning after the woman accidentally sped into the body of water.
Four years later, she watched EMTs save her father’s life after he suffered a stroke.
Cena said of Byrd, “My cover costar, Lori Byrd, impressed me not just with her bravery, but with her perseverance and determination to help carve the path for the next class of female firefighters. I am proud to introduce you to her and five other outstanding nominees who give back to their communities both on and off the job.”
Byrd says the transition wasn’t always smooth, “When I first started, there were some older guys, now retired, who didn’t think women should be in this line of work, and you could tell.”
She hopes the publicity from the cover and her story will help inspire other women to sign up and become firefighters, “When I got hired, there were 90 women in our department of 1,300. We’re hiring a lot more, which makes me happy,” she says.
The cover and article come just before Cena’s new movie, “Playing with Fire” hits theatres on November 8th.
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