CANTON, CT (WFSB) – Some coworkers are like family, but there are two firefighters in Canton that are actually related.

Because it’s International Firefighters Day, Channel 3 is introducing you to a father and daughter who took bonding to new heights and fighting fires is part of their day to day.

“I started off as an EMT about 14 years ago, and a year and a half or so, I looked at our ranks and saw we needed some help on the fire side,” said Gerry Holland.

Gerry Holland was already an exterior firefighter for Canton, but he wanted to be certified with interiors as well, so with the help of the Litchfield County Regional Fire School, he signed up and will soon be certified along with about 20 others.

One of those other people is very close to him.

“Watching my dad as I grew up, he is really one of my inspirations and every little girl, their dad is their hero, and then quickly realized that he’s not only my hero, but everyone else’s too,” said Anna Holland.

Anna says it was her lifelong dream to be a firefighter, so she became an exterior one last year, but like her hero, it was time to be an interior one as well.

“On our way home, we will talk about what we learned in class that day and inspiration in the morning talking through what we are going to do that day. It’s been great having a study partner. It’s been awesome,” Anna said.

After more than 200 hours of classroom and practical lessons on things like ropes, hose operations and even search and rescue, the father and daughter team will soon be certified together.

For Anna, it’s an achievement on top of her graduating this month from UConn.

“It’s exciting for her to step up to a challenge that a lot of people don’t do, but she chose to do,” Gerry said.

“My biggest mentor, I respect him more than anyone in my life. He has just been there every step of the way,” Anna said.

On International Firefighters Day, Gerry says he is thankful to be serving his community with his daughter by his side. He also encourages people to join him by volunteering and help give back to their community.

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