Captain Calandra "Shay" Mason
Experience: Captain, Crew Leader, Training Officer
Hometown: Gary, Ind.
Education: Columbia College Fire Science & Psychology
Family: Married to a soldier; son, John, 17; daughter; Courtney, 11
Q: What inspired you to become a firefighter?
A: My mom inspired me because she told me I can do whatever I put my mind to. She taught me to never give up and work hard.
Q:What is most challenging about your job and why?
A: The greatest challenge for me is being a female. Some people believe the physical part of the job makes it hard for a female. It just means I have to work a little harder because I have to prove I can do it.
Q: What is a memorable moment and why?
A: My most memorable moment is when I had a roof collapse on me. I realized that no matter how small the department is, these things can still happen. That is why we must train and be prepared for anything.
More about: Mason was formerly a volunteer in the U.S. Marine Corps