For Halfmoon resident Caitlin D'Alessandro, fighting fires is a family affair.

D'Alessandro followed in the footsteps of her father and brother and became an interior firefighter last year. Her passion for others came through when she started a group, Firefighters for a Cause, which raises money to donate to people in need, including a West Crescent firefighter who was recently hit by a tow truck.

As part of the “Hometown Heroes” series, we’ve partnered with County Waste and Latham Ford to celebrate local unsung heroes for their good deeds and honorable work.

We asked Caitlin a few questions about her work. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: What inspires you as a firefighter?

A: The biggest thing that inspired me to become a firefighter was the fact that my dad, John D’Alessandro, and my brother, Evan D’Alessandro, are also firefighters. I would watch them run out the door when their pagers went off to go help someone in need. This made me realize that this was something that I also wanted to do.

Every call I go on also inspires me to train harder and become better as a firefighter. No matter how big or small the call is, I know it is extremely important to the person in distress. I actually love getting out of bed or stopping what I am doing to go help someone. Being a firefighter also provides inspiration and motivation in every other part of my life.

Q: What's the most rewarding thing about what you do?

A: As a firefighter, we see people on some of the worst days of their lives. Through our training and commitment we do our best to make a person’s day better by stopping or changing the situation that is causing danger or discomfort to them. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you, and your brother and sister firefighters, are the ones responsible for making a person’s day or life better.

Q: What are some challenges?

A: One of the biggest challenges I face is that I’m small. It may sound silly, but it’s true. I have to work twice as hard to get a task done that may be easy for a 6-foot tall man that can lift 200 lbs. I have to work out all the time to say fit and strong. I find creative ways to get the job done, like using a bucket as a step stool to close that top cabinet on the truck. I definitely am not going to let my size stop me from doing what I love.

Q: Do you consider yourself a "hero?" Why or why not?

A: Do I consider myself a hero? No I don’t. I’m just doing what I believe is right. Being a firefighter is my passion and I love doing it more than anything else in the world. I don’t do it for the thanks and the attention. I do it to help out people who may not be able to help themselves.