The Friends of the Library Program presenter, for Saturday, April 26, has been changed. Gina Geldbach-Hall, the first Las Vegas Female Fire Fighter, has agreed to fill in for our scheduled speaker, Debra Gauthier who cannot travel to Lake Tahoe.
Gelbach-Hall never intended to be a pioneer, but this “firegal” changed the firefighting world forever. At the end of a 25-year career in fire and emergency services, Geldbach-Hall retired as a high-ranking battalion chief. But the winding road she took to get to that position was fraught with turmoil, harassment and one major lawsuit that took nearly 12 years of her life. Being a female firefighter was never easy, but because of a desire to make a difference, the author persevered, changing the culture of firefighting along the way. In her memoir, “Firegal Rising from the Ashes,” she recounts in vivid detail her journey of making it in a man’s world and doesn’t shy away from the troubles she endured. Yet at its best, the work isn’t about Geldbach-Hall’s awful treatment, but how she found peace, hope and, most importantly, herself. She never defines herself as a victim, despite the abuses she endured. She may recount the bad times she suffered, but she doesn’t wallow in them. Her prose moves and inspires, encouraging readers to find their own sources of strength.
Geldbach-Hall will share her stories of life as a firefighter and her strategies of moving on at 1 p.m. Saturday at South Lake Tahoe Library, 1000 Rufus Allen Blvd. The event is free.