Sister in a Brotherhood: Stories from My Life as a Female Firefighter is a touching memoir written by Cindie Schooner-Ball, a retired Fire Service Captain. This is a must-read full of insightful and entertaining stories, giving readers a true glimpse into the world of firefighting, especially from a woman’s perspective in this male-dominated profession.
Sister in a Brotherhood is the first book by Schooner-Ball, fulfilling her wish and calling to mentor women and men considering a career in the fire service, as well as offering a front-row seat to the life of firefighters, revealing the realities of this noble and rewarding profession both on and off the job.
A groundbreaking female firefighter, Cindie Schooner-Ball lived for the thrill of riding backwards on a fire truck, code 3 with lights flashing, sirens wailing and horns blasting, heading towards that ominous cloud of black smoke.
In this captivating memoir, she vividly describes these high-adrenaline experiences and the stunned look on onlookers’ faces when she got off the truck, put on her hood, face mask, and helmet, and they realised she was a woman.
Hired in June 1987 by a large urban Fire-Rescue Department in South Florida, Cindie rose through the ranks as a firefighter, driver-engineer, paramedic and lieutenant while also earning a degree in fire science. She retired as a captain in 2015 after 28 years on the force.
Throughout her career, she had been asked so many questions about how she managed to excel while working in this male-dominated profession that she decided to write Sister in a Brotherhood to share her story. Cindie recognized early that to succeed as both a firefighter and a woman would require perseverance, grit and the ability to command respect.
You will understand why firefighting is Cindie’s calling and passion when you read this inspiring book. She shares memorable moments in working and living with other first responders who are dedicated to helping people in crisis.
Cindie encourages anyone who wants to serve — especially women who have the desire to enter this noble profession — to pursue their dream, as she did.
Praise for Cindie
‘In Sister in a Brotherhood, Cindie Schooner-Ball tells her story of nearly three decades working in what was widely perceived as a man’s career path, firefighting. She brings the reality of her adventures (and a few misadventures, too) home to the reader in a fascinating, lively style. Whether you’re a firefighter or not, you’ll want to read this account of life in the firehouse by a woman who helped open its doors to other women.’
– Scott Orr, Producer/Host, Code 3—The Firefighters’ Podcast
‘A tribute to the people she served and the people she served with, Cindie Schooner-Ball’s Sister in a Brotherhood chronicles the highs and lows of her life as a female firefighter.’
– Mark B. Williams, Vice President (retired), Oregon Health & Science University
‘Utilizing a gritty, realistic style, Cindie Schooner-Ball captures the career life cycle that few outside of the fire service can imagine. She deftly peels back the public perception and smacks the reader in the face with the brutal reality firefighters face in their daily lives, on and off the job.’
– Mike Uskoski, Retired Fire Captain, 29 years in Portland Fire and Rescue
‘If you’re considering a career as a firefighter/EMT, or paramedic, this is the book for you. Reading it brought back so many memories of my time in the Fire Service, as I was also a Sister in a Brotherhood. As Cindie Schooner-Ballpoints out, the Fire Service is very rewarding, yet very demanding, and you take the good with the bad. She is spot on with advice, too! Pay attention, highlight the important parts, and take the lessons she has generously conveyed in the book for your time in the fire service!’
– Captain Teri Roberts, Broward Sheriff’s Office
‘Sister in Brotherhood grabs the emotion, challenges and episodes of a woman pursuing the exciting life as a firefighter and EMT. The insight of Cindie Schooner-Ball’s personal life, training regimen, career progression and actual emergencies makes an easy read and a book you can’t put down.’
– David W. Dunbar, Chairman & CEO (retired), Synovus Bank of Florida
‘An honest and enjoyable read, Sister in a Brotherhood reveals the extra levels of self-belief and determination it sometimes takes to succeed, especially when you aren’t like the others around you.’
– Vinnie Greico, Broward Sheriff Fire-Rescue, Retired Captain
‘Cindie Schooner-Ball has done an excellent job of providing a window into a unique perspective on growing up, finding a living, and excelling in the face of adversity. I recommend this to anyone coming of age, feeling like a fish out of water, or wondering if civil service is for you.’
– Robert S. Lewis, Architect
‘Captain Schooner-Ball has masterfully recreated her career in her book, Sister in a Brotherhood. Once you begin to read, it isn’t easy to put the book down. I remember meeting Cindie at the beginning of her career. She always had a great work ethic. I was fortunate to watch her advance through every career rank, including obtaining her paramedic certification. She put 100 percent effort into everything she did, and it showed. I recommend this book not just for members of the fire service but for anyone seeking to improve their chances of succeeding in this thing we call life.’
– Allan London, Lieutenant (retired), Broward Sheriff Fire-Rescue
For more information and to order your copy of the book go to www.sisterinabrotherhood.com