DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Dothan's first female firefighter was laid to rest Tuesday.
Vickey Bristow died Saturday. According to fire officials, she had battled cancer.
She first joined the department in 1993 and worked until her retirement in 2012.
Fire agencies from across the Wiregrass and Georgia gathered for a silent funeral procession in her honor from Headland to her hometown of Columbia, where her funeral service was held.
"Firefighter Bristow did so much in her community with Columbia Rescue and all the volunteer agencies you saw represented in the procession. It was really an outpouring from all of those communities that she volunteered in and helped," said Dothan Fire Marshal Chris Etheredge.
Many of her former co-workers agree "trailblazer" is a fitting word to describe Bristow. Firefighter Shan Ash joined Dothan's Fire Department a few months after Bristow.
"It's hard being the first person into a job – especially a job of this nature. So, there's no doubt she broke through barriers I didn't have to deal with," said Ash. "She's special to all of us because she changed the face of the department."
"It was something that was not customary at the time. So, the challenges that she faced were different," said Etheredge. "She tremendously overcame those challenges."
Etheredge said Bristow overcame each challenge with compassion and an attitude of service.
"I just remember her heart. Not only as a paramedic and firefighter in Dothan," he said.
"The thing about Vickey – she always had true compassion for people. She wanted to do the best she could by those who needed her help," said Ash.
Bristow's services were held at Camp Springs Baptist Church.