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Girls On Fire

Meet The First All-Female Fire Squad in Brentwood

Rose Aldrich, Lauren Brigance, May Massie and Robyn Thorpe can all get ready for their hot dates in less than 2 minutes. Actually, in less than 1 minute and 30 seconds flat, according to Brentwood standards. 

Only these hot dates are not what one might think; they are emergency fire and rescue calls, as these women are the first all-women fire squad for the Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department. 

Before going on calls, they check their gear, meds, pull hoses, equipment and truck, and ensure everything is ready to go before heading out the fire station door. Due to the fact these women wear gear that weighs up to 80 pounds, they train every day to ensure they're up to standard. 

These firefighters are from all around the country but have found themselves in Brentwood to pursue their dreams of helping others. They all have different reasons for joining the squad but together, they're earning the reputation of making the perfect team. 

Lauren Brigance has been a firefighter for the Brentwood team for a year now but has previously worked for two years in Columbia, Tennessee. When Lauren was 16 years old, she and her family experienced a house fire. While observing the firefighters in action, she says she became intrigued about becoming a firefighter herself.

"I admired how selfless and brave these civil servants were," she says.

This sparked her interest, and she decided to start a career as a fighter herself and currently, she has seen around 20 fires in her career.

Robyn Thorpe has served as a firefighter, paramedic and engineer for the last 7.5 years. She also is the one who drives the fire trucks. When she was young, she says she loved watching firefighting movies, which she admits played a role in her becoming one. "One movie, Back Draft; was especially thrilling," she adds.

Robyn, as well as being a firefighter, also participates in community programs such as Camp Hope. Camp Hope is a fire program run every year by Vanderbilt University, and it brings together children who have been victims of burns. It helps them know they are not alone and gives them a sense of community. This camp hosts children from across the country who get to participate in fun activities like water balloon fights, games and other creative activities. 

Robyn is a first-generation firefighter and when she told her family she wanted to be one, they were supportive of her decision, but her mother, worried for her safety, just told her, “I’m going to pray for you.” 

May Massie joined the group in 2022, but has been a firefighter since 2018. She says becoming a firefighter wasn't her original plan, but she felt the desire to help others and prevent emergencies.

"Despite any obstacle, if you have your mind set on it you can do it, don't let anyone tell you different," May says.

These women make up an incredible team and have quite the support system rooting for them and their accomplishments. 

"My friends love it because they don't know too many women firemen, so they think it's awesome," May says.

So, what is it like walking into a fire? They explain that firefighters revert to their training. 

“It’s all muscle memory,” Robyn explains. 

“It’s scary, but we are very well prepared for it,” Lauren states confidently.

“It is not a male or female job. Whether you are a male or female, you must have courage, ambition, moral character and a love for the job,” Robyn explains. 

This fire squad confirms they have good faith in each other, as they depend on one another and trust each other with their lives. Their friendship is evident upon seeing them together and spending time with them. They have a great source of drive, discipline and courage.

When this group first formed, “It was like everything came together. The stars all aligned. It was just meant to be,” Lauren says.

These firefighting women say they love it when community members come around. The fire stations are always open, and the firefighters love when the public visit, ask questions or share their appreciation for all their hard work. 

It is all about the community for these women and keeping the community safe and protected.

Brentwood has five different fire stations around the city and their stations cover all the way down the Interstate 65 stretch, with their newest fire station opening this past January. Those stations are at 5211 Maryland Way, 1301 Wilson Pike, 1750 General George Patton Drive, 1300 Sunset Road and 9551 Split Log Road.


"Whether you're a male or female, you must have courage, ambition, moral character and a love for the job."

  • Lauren Brigance
  • Robyn Thorpe
  • May Massie
  • Robyn Thorpe, May Massie, and Rose Aldrich (not pictured: Lauren Brigance)