FDNY Calendar of Heroes heats up with first-ever female

New York City's fire department is out with its new charity calendar, featuring everyday heroes who are also lookers. But this year, it's also making history with its first woman ever featured in its Calendar of Heroes, CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports.

Crowds battled the New York heat Tuesday for an up-close encounter with 13 of New York's bravest.

"We're hot and sweaty," said fan Cassandra Punohu. "I don't know if it's because of the guys or the sun."

But this year the fellas had to make room for Miss March: Bronx firefighter Danae Mines.

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Denae Mines, AKA Miss March
FDNY

"I work with guys so being on a calendar with guys is just like going to work," Mines said.

Mines has always wanted to be a part of the famed calendar.

"I wanted to do it to help raise money for the fire safety foundation but also I wanted to do it to represent the women on the job and show you know that women can do this," Mines said.

An 11-year veteran of the FDNY, she is one of 41 female firefighters in the department; women make up less than 1 percent of the force.

"One [fireman] said it's only for men. Someone else said I would look like a pin up girl if I was in the calendar," Mines said.

Last year's open call convinced her the time was right to prove the critics wrong. She auditioned along with more than a hundred shirtless male firefighters.

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The 2015 Calendar of Heroes cover
FDNY

"The photographer came over and said, 'Everyone take your shirts off', so I just looked around and I said, 'Is he talking to me? Am I included in on this?'" Mines said.

Shirt or no shirt, Mines made the cut. Donning suspenders and a tank top, she earned a spot in the month of March, which also happens to be women's history month.

Joe Conforti, who graces the calendar's cover, witnessed Mines' audition.

"Her personality was glowing," Conforti said. "She came at you like she was meant to be there, and it was pretty cool."

Mines hopes her ground-breaking debut will help boost female recruitment, proving beauty and bravery go hand in hand.

"Before you step into that firehouse you have to tell yourself, 'I'm willing to risk my life to save someone else' and that doesn't matter what gender you are," Mines said.

The calendar isn't just about eye candy. All proceeds go to the FDNY foundation to promote fire safety education for the public and provide equipment and training for firefighters.

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