Reilly Dunne knows what it’s like to be ready.
Ready to compete and ready to help.
“It will be similar to warming up for a volleyball games,” said Dunne, a former volleyball star at Limestone High School, Illinois Central College and Western Illinois University.
“The adrenaline rush, all the feeling like, ‘let’s go, I’m ready to do this.'”
What she is ready to do is save lives. Dunne is one of the newest members of the Peoria Fire Department, an August graduate of the fire academy.
“Two things have been pounded into my head, ‘Take care of the job and the job will take care of you.’
And it’s the best job in the world,” Dunne said. “And I agree.”
At 23, she is one of the youngest firefighters in Peoria and one of only four women in the entire department. But the ICC assistant volleyball coach says she loves the challenge.
“I think a lot of it can tie back to athletics. Always being competitive, knowing what it takes,” Dunne said. “It’s a brother and sisterhood, but it’s always a competition as well. You always have to make yourself better.”
Dunne’s available to help coach the Cougars volleyball team is taking a bit of a hit. She works for the fire department on 24-hour shifts and then is off for 48 hours before her next tour of duty at the fire house.
But she doesn’t mind. Neither does her coach.
“Reilly is someone I always want on my side. whether it’s playing a game or I’m in a troubled situation,” said ICC volleyball coach Sue Sinclair. “She’s going to be calm, cool and collected. And in the front to help.”