Kalynn Cresse has dreamt of flying since she was 18.
Now, after more than 2,000 hours spent in the skies, the 25-year-old is living out her dream as Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's first female pilot.
"I am very proud," she said. "It's nice to see a lot of time and effort pay off."
Cresse was inspired to fly by family members.
"My dad flies airplanes recreationally and he actually learned hot to fly from my grandpa when he was young," she said.
She chose to fly helicopters because of their versatility, along with the opportunity to help others.
"It can do a lot of things I wanted to use that diversity for the greater good," Cresse said.
Cresse has piloted several missions since she was first hired by MDFR in June, but one stands out among the others.
"We transported a young kid, less than 5-years-old to [Miami] Children's Hospital who was having some heart problems. One of the caretakers at the hospital informed us later that the child was in good health by the time we had left and that was really great for the whole crew to hear,” Cresse said.
Her message for others is to chase any dream down. Cresse was so determined to be a pilot, she paid her own way through graduate flight school.
While she serves as an example for other young women, she doesn't forget there are others like her living out the same dream.
“There’s women in this field and doing the same operations worldwide and it’s more of maybe I’m getting an opportunity to represent all of us," Cresse said.
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