Many families would excitedly welcome a set of twins.
For the Corinth Fire Department, it caused a little apprehension among the tight brotherhood when not one but two women joined the team.
“I was one of the ones that did not want a girl here for nothing,” admits Lt. Gary Glenn. “Now, I’m one of their biggest fans. They move with confidence and purpose.”
He’s talking about 24-year-old Crissy and Courtney Evetts, who joined the department last April and completed their training with the Mississippi State Fire Academy in February. Along with the rarity of a set of twins working for the same employer, they are only the second and third females to take on the role of firefighter in the city. The first was Pam Gwyn.
“We knew it would be an adjustment for the guys,” said Courtney, who works out of station #1 at City Hall.
But the 2014 Kossuth High School graduates are now looked at as part of the family.
“I know I can call up the guys if I ever needed anything,” said Crissy, who works at station #4 on South Harper Road and is the older of the two by one minute.
It created a buzz when they applied.
“There was a lot of doubts from a lot of people,” said Lt. Chris Duncan, “but, ever since they took the physical test and passed it, they’ve exceeded everybody’s expectations. They’ve really proven that they can do this job and be a part of the team that we have here. If they keep going the way they’re going now, they’ll be moving up the ranks.”
Perhaps chief someday?
“That’s the goal,” said Courtney.
She said she is driven by “being a part of something bigger than just you.”
The identical twins have often moved in the same direction.
“If I do one thing, she’s going to do it,” said Courtney, who currently has slightly longer hair than her sister does. “Or, if I do it, she’s going to do it. It’s just how it goes.”
Crissy said she expected to end up somewhere in the medical field and saw an opportunity to do similar work as a first responder with the fire department when she saw that they were hiring. While growing up, they had a friend whose father worked at the fire department, and they were around it from time to time.
“That’s what initially introduced us to the fire department,” said Courtney. “What drew me in was more of the physically demanding aspect of the job.”
Both were athletes in school and have worked as trainers at Adrenaline Fitness, so getting through the initial physical agility test to become a firefighter was no problem.
“There is a lot of strength you have to have, a lot of endurance,” along with the mental aspect, said Training Officer Jerry Whirley. “You’re seeing families at their worst or you’re seeing wreck scenes at their worst. It takes a special person to do this job, whether they’re male or female.”
Since the twins joined the department last year, a few more females have joined the applicant pool.
“Did they open a door or is it coincidental? I don’t know, but we’ll see where it goes,” said Whirley, who sometimes distinguishes between the two by the slight difference in their voices.
The sisters graduated from the seven-week academy in a class of 31.
“To go through that struggle and that experience alone with these guys from all over, you become one,” said Courtney. “It’s a great bond.”
They give much credit to the guys at Corinth F.D. for preparing them to succeed at the academy.
“It really hit me when I was graduating the academy that I was accomplishing something,” said Crissy.
Both say they enjoy the job as a way to give back and are loving it so far. Outside of work, they enjoy hitting the gym and going to the lake.
And it’s never a surprise to find them side by side.
“People ask us, ‘Are y’all always going to be together,’ and I don’t think we’ll venture far from each other,” said Crissy.