RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Most maternity photos feature a meadow, forest, or some other type of nature showing off the beauty of life.
But one Texas firefighter is breaking away from the norm by proving she can still own her femininity while still being able to “get dirty at a fire.”
Jessica Massey Martinez, 29, has worked as a firefighter/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel since she was 15-years-old when she volunteered for a department to get college credit hours. Massey Martinez was initially planning to become a preschool teacher.
However, she fell in love with the field and joined as a permanent firefighter has now served the community for well over a decade. She currently works as a Bexar County Emergency Service District firefighter/paramedic, a position she has served for four years.
In 2022, Massey Martinez and her husband Nikolaus learned are expecting their first child and found a creative way to show off the milestone with the help of a coworker.
“It was actually the photographer, Captain Natividad Rodriguez, who came up with the idea for the shoot,” said Massey. “‘Not your typical maternity shoot’ is what we were going for. Usually maternity shoots are softer and more feminine, but he knows that’s not really me.”
The photos show off Massey Martinez’s commitment to her job, which she says is equally challenging for men and women but she notes there are some disadvantages she has to work to overcome.
“I think it’s just as challenging for a male to be in this profession,” said Massey Martinez. “I know a lot of men that are around my height [5’2″] but we just have to find a way to use our body mechanics to our advantage vs seeing them as limitations.”
Massey Martinez says there are stereotypes that women professionals in fields like hers face that place women in an “all or nothing” category that are simply untrue.
“One of the biggest stereotypes I see is that we are either too ‘soft’ or not feminine at all. There usually isn’t any room in between,” said Massey Martinez. “I’m the type of girl that can get dirty at a fire or on an EMS call but also will go back to the station and shower the ‘gross’ off me and put on a little makeup to feel presentable to the public eye.”
For any other woman dreaming of becoming a firefighter or first responder, Massey Martinez encourages them to reach for the sky and push themselves mentally and physically.
“It is definitely not for everyone but if you have the want to work in this field, it really is the greatest job in the world, but then again, I’m a little biased,” exclaimed Massey Martinez. “I love being on the fire truck! I love being in the back of an ambulance!”
Massey Martinez is just as exuberant about becoming a mother as she is about her job. While she has two dogs she takes care of that she says act like big babies, this will be her first human baby.
“I’m excited for the experience. I’ve known from a very young age that I wanted to have children and I’m excited to bring a little girl into the world and show her how beautiful life can be,” said Massey Martinez.
The couple plan to name their daughter Lucia Lizet Massey after Jessica’s mother.