by Sarah Bautista
In 2009, Marvielyn I. Cortez traded her nurse’s cap with a firefighter’s helmet, after earning the necessary qualifications. She then joined the Bureau of Fire Protection Office (BFPO) in Biñan, Laguna. She was a licensed nurse but she eventually chose to follow the family tradition of working in the fire bureau. Four years after, Fire Officer (FO)1 Cortez became a part of Los Baños BFPO as the administrative and field operational firefighter.
In her line of work, being a female is not an excuse for a special treatment. She explained that having gone through the same rigorous training, she is treated like other firefighetrs. FO1 Cortez believes that females can break the image of being less capable in male-dominated fields such as firefighting. She emphasized that a person’s limits depend on the strength of her will and determination – not her gender.
FO1 Cortez finds fulfillment in being able to save lives and protect properties which families have worker hard for. Being a firefighter has become a source of pride, not only for herself, but also for her family.
A native of Cabanatuan City, FO1 Cortez settled in Calamba City when she married her husband and fellow firefighter Stephen in August 2010. Being in the same profession has helped the couple understand the demands of their work and allowed them to spend time with their three-year-old daughter.