Annalisa Laube: Trail (De-)Blazer | Inner Visions, Outer Triumphs
Last week, we sat down with firefighter Annalisa Laube in her Superior, Colo., fire station to discuss wild land fires, what it’s like to be a woman in a male dominated field, and how she deals with the challenges of her job. Though soft spoken and humble, Laube exemplifies strength and courage. Back in her teenage years, with one month left before she was to head out to college on a basketball scholarship, Laube experienced a change of heart. After a ride out with local firefighters, she decided to switch course and pursue a life of service. She immediately jumped into a career as an Emergency Medical Technician and firefighter, and hasn’t looked back since.We thank Annalisa and all our courageous firefighters for their hard work and sacrifice this summer. Over 200,000 acres burned in Colorado alone. Enjoy this Q&A and the video below.
Question: What do you most enjoy about your job?
Annalisa Laube: Serving others. Interacting with the local people is unbelievable. No two days are the same, no two calls are the same. It’s just a great environment to be in.
Q: Colorado had quite the summer. Can you tell me about your efforts in fighting wildland fires?
AL: Our summer was pretty crazy. Our department was widely used for all the local fires, we’re very active in wildland fires for Boulder County. And we still have crews up in Rocky Mountain National Park. I was recently asked to possibly go out and handle some rescue efforts in wildland fires. I was actually sent out to Montana this summer to fight a fire there.
Q: How does Wildland firefighting differ from other days on the job?
AL: You have to take what you need with you for the next 12 or 24 hours. You have a lot of equipment and clothing on you. You might be dragging hose, cutting line–where you’re digging lines on the edge of the fire. It’s a lot of manual labor. Summer is more demanding since we’re so active in the wildland arena, and our department sends out a lot of firefights. It can be pretty taxing. People worked a lot this summer and definitely made some sacrifices.
Q: What do you do to stay active and in shape?
AL: I like hiking, mountaineering, backpacking, mountain biking, dirt biking, running, working out, paddleboarding. I also have kayaks. I’ll try anything outdoorsy at least once. My favorite is definitely hiking. I’ve backpacked in Yosemite several times- I was out there this summer for several days.
Q: Is that how you de-stress after an intense call or long day?
AL: Absolutely. I spend a lot of time outdoors. I love hiking, and enjoying the solitude when I’m outside. Humor is also big, we have to joke around sometimes to relieve some of the stress.
Q: What are your favorite local hiking spots?
AL: Anywhere with some solitude. But my favorite is the Glacier Gorge area up in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Q: Rumor has it that firefighters cook up some mean meals. Do you cook? What’s your favorite dish to make?
AL: (Laughing and nodding) We all cook. One of my favorite dishes to make is sauteed vegetables with scallops and shrimp. I throw in some spices, and put it over pasta with some olive oil and parmesan. Pretty simple, but really good.
Q: What else do you do in your spare time (if you have any)?
AL: I scrapbook and spend time with my friends, and I love traveling. My favorite place to visit is probably the Pacific Northwest. I love snowboarding up at Whistler.
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