Name: Angela Bryant-Walker
1. What is your idea of an adventure? Doing something that you don’t normally do. Trying new things, pushing your limits and getting out of your comfort zone.
2. What is your idea of cowardice? Not living up to your own standards. If you don’t give everything 100% of what you’re capable of, not only will you disappoint others but you’ll disappoint yourself and live in regret. Give it your all even if you’re not very good at it, face your giants.
3. What’s your greatest fear? Losing the people I care about.
4. How did you get into fighting forest fires? My mom’s best friend has a daughter, a couple years older than me, and she suggested it to me. I met with the assistant fire management officer my senior year of high school and decided it was too time consuming because I had to plan my wedding that summer. The next year at college my husband’s best friend was talking about his experience fighting fire and got me interested, my husband and I both applied and only I got the job. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I knew that I needed to support my family so I went for it.
5. Were there many women out there? There were more women than I thought there’d be but obviously women were the minority. I worked on the engine crew, which had three engines and there was one girl on each engine. There were four guys on each engine!
6. Is it as dangerous as we are lead to think? Yes and no. It really depends on the size of the fire, where you’re assigned and the weather. It is dangerous because nature is unpredictable. The winds can change direction at any time and the rate of spread can increase in a matter of minutes. Sometimes the job you are assigned is on lookout, which is far from the fire, so you’re safe. Other times you are in a trench bucking a log that has a small flame and all of the sudden the wood chips from the saw catch on fire and the wind picks up and you have to literally drop everything and run uphill as far away from the flames as possible. It can be very inconsistent and scary.
7. How do you define courage? Never giving up. The times I felt most courageous on the job were when I failed at something but kept on trying.
8. Who is your favorite female role model? Gwen Stefani. Ever since I was little she’s been a role model. She’s unique in her music, her style and her personality. She is so talented and driven. I love that she does what she wants and doesn’t let other people’s opinions of her influence her. She just turned 40 and she’s a mom and a wife and she’s still rocking!
10. What is the best advice your mother ever gave you? That I can do anything through God who gives me strength. That’s actually our favorite Bible verse but she’s definitely my number one role model because of the way she lives her life. She has the biggest heart and knows how to have a great time without having to be drunk or anything like that. She’s showed me that I can do anything because of the obstacles in her own life that she’s overcome and always stayed faithful in God.
11. You’re newly married (just over a year) and still in college. Is this as difficult as fighting fires? Yes, very difficult! The second week of my job I had to go to training in Prospect, OR. For one week I was without cell phone service, computers, and had no way of communicating with him. It was so hard. All we had were journals that we wrote letters to each other everyday. It’s hard to go from seeing someone everyday to camping out with complete strangers and sleeping in a tent alone. After that week, he had to go back to school for summer classes in Corvallis, so we only got to see each other on the weekends and that was hard because on my days off he had school or had homework, so our time together was limited. Also some days I had to work my days off and that was really hard not seeing him for a couple weeks.
12. What is your dream adventure destination? Hawaii, I’ve always wanted to go there, ever since I was little. I know this is a very cliché answer but I’d love to go to a beautiful island where I can ride bikes on the beach and hike and surf and scuba dive, just thinking about seeing the sunsets makes me want to go there.
13. Where in the world would you want to be right now, and doing what? I would want to be traveling all over the world with my husband and just experiencing everything that each culture has to offer.
14. If I could change one thing about myself it would be? I wish I could control my memory. Remember the life lessons and good times but forget the awkward moments, the grudges and the little negative things that don’t matter.
15. You have two older sisters. How are you different from them? My sisters are smart, successful, strong women and I have always looked up to them and tried to be like them, but I’ve also had this mindset that I want to be myself and make my own rules. I am the rebellious one out of the Bryant girls. I have been the only one to get in detention, sneak out, get tattooed, party or anything of that nature. Also I am a Daddy’s girl, I think my dad always wanted a boy so I’ve always been a sort of tomboy for him. I’d go to work with him, go fishing, hunting, play a bunch of sports and help him build stuff.
16. What is your motto? Dance like no one is watching, love like you’ve never been hurt and live like there’s no tomorrow.