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Bobbie Scopa spent close to five decades working through nearly every challenge a firefighter can face.
Scopa was a strike team leader for the Dude Fire in 1990, where six firefighters were tragically killed, and she served at Ground Zero immediately after 9/11. She’s worked mountain rescues, city fires, mega-wildfires, and everything in between.
While battling conditions and harsh flames on the outside, she also found herself waging a tougher battle on the inside. Scopa was torn between how to maintain the façade everyone expected of her and whether to live as her true self. “A hero firefighter can’t possibly be transgender, right?” she thought.
Both Sides of the Fire Line is Bobbie Scopa’s uplifting memoir of bravely facing the heat of fierce challenges, professionally and personally.
About the Author
Bobbie Scopa is a retired firefighter, author, podcast host, and public speaker. She has forty-five years of firefighting experience and has received numerous professional awards and industry recognition, including Firefighter of the Year (1990) from the Professional Firefighters of Arizona; Governor’s Award, State of Arizona (1990); Certificate of Appreciation from the City of New York for work performed at the World Trade Center in 2001; and the Unit Citation Award for efficacy in the U.S. Forest Service (2014). She was a featured speaker at the U.S. Forest Service’s “Pride Outside” diversity, equity, and inclusion event in June 2021. She is also the host of the podcast BobbieOnFire.com. Scopa divides her time between Puget Sound, Washington, and Scottsdale, Arizona.
"In this compelling new book, Bobbie Scopa shares her life as a man, a woman, and a firefighter. Each chapter of her life, and of this book, can help us to better understand what it means to be transgender. As she mentions, the only experience that many people have of the transgender experience comes through the media. Her memoir reminds us that transgender people, while facing unique challenges in their lives, have the same goals as all human beings do: to discover who they are, to find love as best they can, and to serve their community with compassion and grace." —James Martin, SJ, author of Building a Bridge
"I tore through Bobbie Scopa's fascinating and moving memoir. It's honest, direct, brisk, funny, and above all, human." —Alex Blumberg, host of the podcast How to Save a Planet
"Firefighters, and wildland firefighters in particular, are a special group, and many will see themselves in this book. Bobbie's rise in the fire service, both structural and wildland, was not without hardship and challenges, and she tells her unique and compelling story with humor, introspection, and grace, holding very little back. She embodies the wildland fire leadership principles of duty, respect, and integrity." —Riva Duncan, retired US Forest Service Fire Chief