YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There are plenty of stories of people joining safety forces and following in the footsteps of their father, their grandfather or an uncle. But two of the newest members of Youngstown’s bravest are following in the footsteps of their mothers.

History started with an oath.

Of the half dozen new recruits for the Youngstown Fire Department, Maddie Kelly is the first woman to join the YFD since her mother did in 2006. We interviewed both of them back in November, just a month after Maddie had passed the department’s tough agility test.

Back then, Maddie told us that becoming a firefighter in Youngstown was her lifelong dream, and that hasn’t lessened over time.

“Couldn’t believe it because it’s just a dream. It’s been a dream for a very long time for me and for all these guys. We all have dreamed of this day and it’s finally here,” Maddie said.

As Captain Courtney Kelly got to pin on her daughter’s badge, another captain, Leslie Murphy, did the honors for her son, Ian.

“It’s a wonderful career. We love helping people. He’s… he took after me in that way. His dad’s in civil service as well, he’s a state trooper, so it must run in the family,” Murphy said.

“I’m very proud of her. So it’s been an accomplishment of her’s and I mean, she just makes me proud,” Courtney said.

Having already been certified by the state, all six of the new recruits will start working right away, some as early as this weekend.

“They’re a very aggressive fire department. They know what they’re doing, they have a lot of experience. So I’m gonna learn a lot,” Maddie said.

They’re following in the footsteps of another generation.

Youngstown Fire Chief Barry Finley says it’ll take a little more time for the department to reach the baseline staffing levels recently established by city council.

The shortages have been forcing the department to close stations on a rotating basis for the last several weeks.

Council voted to authorize 10 additional firefighters, but Monday’s hiring of six new recruits still leaves the department four short of that minimum level.

“Then when I get the four that I wanna hire, the four more… that’s gonna drastically increase our numbers and it’s gonna lessen the amount of [us] having to close down the fire stations,” Finley said.

Finley says of the 122 authorized positions in the department, 112 would work in fire suppression.

He says depending on training, it could be several months before additional firefighters are on the job.