The Thin Line Spotlight: Abigail Poynter

The Thin Line Spotlight: Abigail Poynter

Writer / Matt Keating
Photography Provided

Abigail Poynter, a firefighter with the Westfield Fire Department (WFD), says she is honored to be in the department.Abigail Poynter

“Being a member of the Westfield Fire Department has been a great accomplishment, personally and professionally, and I am honored for the opportunity to serve the Westfield community,” Poynter says. “Although I am not the first female firefighter to work at WFD, I am currently the only female firefighter employed by our department. This role has presented challenges I have overcome, but I am thankful to be a part of a team and organization that continues to evolve and improve its processes as we grow as a department and community.”

Prior to joining the WFD, Poynter was employed as a licensed practical nurse.

“The bulk of my experience was in long-term facility care, but I have previously worked with a wide range of age groups within different practices,” Poynter says.

Poynter thoroughly enjoys being a firefighter.

“There are many things I enjoy about my career in the fire service,” she says. “The workday provides structure but no two days are the same. Working a 24-hour shift schedule permits a great work and life balance. The best part of my job is knowing I made a difference and may have helped someone during a time of crisis.”

Abigail PoynterPoynter says she also enjoys educating people about fires.

“One of the most important responsibilities of a firefighter is public education,” Poynter says. “We connect with our community on a daily basis, whether attending a school or city event, and utilize this time to teach fire, life and safety skills. The best way for our citizens to prevent fires is to be proactive and knowledgeable about smoke alarms, potential fire hazards, and be mindful when cooking, heating their homes and coming in contact with fire.”

When Poynter isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with family.

“I do not have a second job as I am a full-time mom to a busy toddler, Samuel,” Poynter says. “My greatest support system is my family – my wonderful husband, Chris, who is also a firefighter, and our parents. They provide the love, understanding and guidance needed as we both develop our careers and manage as fairly new parents. Chris, Samuel and I love to spend time with one another and enjoy being outdoors, hiking, paddleboarding and exploring different parks.”

Poynter wants to persuade other women to become firefighters.

“A main goal in my career is to inspire and educate women who are interested in joining the fire service,” Poynter says. “Women can perform and succeed in this industry, just as anyone else can. We may not have, on average, the most sheer mass or strength, but can learn different ways of performing well at our jobs. I have learned that utilizing good body mechanics goes a long way, and I can train just as hard as our male counterparts. Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams. I did, and found that being a part of the fire service has truly been the best job ever.”Abigail Poynter

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