If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Despite having fewer than two years on the job, Larissa Leal was named Pearsall Volunteer Fire Department firefighter of the year on Monday, December 13.
Joining the force during COVID-19 when the world was forced into lockdowns, Leal said she knew the community still needed the best emergency services possible.
“I wanted to put my time into something other than myself,” she said. “It is what I wanted to do and what I had planned to do after coming back to Texas.”
After graduating from Pearsall High School in 2016, Leal joined the United States Army and was stationed in Ft. Drum, NY.
She served as an army solider for two and a half years before she was medically discharged. When she returned to her hometown, she immediately began training as a volunteer firefighter.
“My two uncles, one who is deceased now, and my dad all volunteered their time to the department,” Leal said.
On Monday evening Leal was named the top candidate, surpassing four others who were being considered for the accolade.
“I am extremely blessed,” she said in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “I would not be able to do anything without my family, the ones who stuck by my side, especially God; he is number one. I enjoy helping the community, the people in need. I put my time into this for them.”
According to Pearsall Volunteer Fire Chief Placido Aguilar, Leal’s recognition does not stop with her recent accolade. The firefighter was elected by fellow firefighters to serve as lieutenant for 2022.
“She is an active firefighter willing to do whatever it takes,” the fire chief said.