Two Bradenton women graduate at the top of their fire academy class

Stepping foot in a firehouse has become second nature for Elizabeth Alvarez and Madeline Coiner. 

"I basically grew up in the firehouse," Alvarez said. 

From a baby to a young adult, 19-year-old Alvarez kept her career goal of becoming a firefighter always on her mind. She followed the lead of her dad and grandfather. Both were Palm Beach County firefighters. Today, her dad is a volunteer firefighter with Longboat Key Fire Rescue. 

"I kind of fell in love with it with my grandfather and my dad. The love for them to actually go and help their community. And people call upon them is the best feeling ever. I really wanted to do that," she said. 

As for 18-year-old Coiner, she also caught the bug from her father, a Miami-Dade County Firefighter. 

"I liked how my dad worked with all of his co-workers and the community," she said. "It really put a big interest in it."

It's an interest she began following in high school. 

"He's put a really good inspiration in his job and to others," Coiner explained. "I know a whole bunch of people who want to do the same thing."

The two are a first at Manatee Technical College's Fire Academy. 

"You'll see places where guy's fathers and grandfathers have all been firemen, but to have two girls to do that, I guess that's something to say," said Bill Kebler, the lead instructor. 

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Kebler said the young women put heart and soul into their training.

"These two are exceptional for the fact that they led the boys," he recalled. "They're the kind that you've got to keep up to me kind of."

They're the kind you'll never be able to keep down -- making their families proud and achieving a dream started by the men of their families. 

"I gave to this whole entire career ever since I was small, 120 percent," Alvarez said. "Nothing got in my way, nothing I wanted to change. Nothing at all. This is what I wanted to do. Nothing at all."

Both girls will take the state exam to become Florida-certified firefighters. From there, they will enter the EMT program. 

"Anything can be possible," Coiner said. "Doesn't matter if you're a girl or a guy. You can do a guy's job if you wanted to if you're a girl."