I graduated from Stanford University, and expected to follow a career path that involved a briefcase and a bonus package. Instead, I picked up an axe and became a San Francisco firefighter. I wrote about this unlikely choice, and the ensuing adventures, in Fighting Fire, originally published in 1998. After publication I continued to work on one of the busiest rigs in the city. Recently I decided to update, revise, and reprint Fighting Fire. This version has an introduction, a spiffy new cover, and incidents that couldn’t make it into the original because they happened in the latter part of my 13-and-a-half year career.

A rare, fascinating look at the inner workings of an urban fire department, with plenty of thrills, adventure, and raw emotion. Between the quality of Paul’s writing and the subject matter, her book will keep readers on edge until the very last page.
— LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)
Fighting Fire offers perhaps the most compelling explanation yet as to why some people actually enjoy the window-shattering, blood-boiling, bone-melting heat of a roaring blaze.
An outstanding account of one woman’s struggle to prove her personal worth and courage and to make her place in a world previously reserved exclusively for men.
This skillfully written memoir imparts an understanding if both the science of firefighting and the complicated alchemy among those men and women who brave the blazes.