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Minneapolis firefighter Akeela Al-Hameed is now a competitor on "Tough as Nails"

Minnesota firefighter ready to prove she’s Tough as Nails
Minnesota firefighter ready to prove she’s Tough as Nails 02:47

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minnesota firefighter and jack-of-all-trades is among the contestants on the new season of "Tough as Nails" premiering this Sunday night on CBS. 

Akeela Al-Hameed knows how to fight. In her day job, she fights fires at Station 16 in North Minneapolis

"As a firefighter, you've got to have a cool head, you've got to work well under pressure," said Al-Hameed.

MORE: "Tough As Nails" joins CBS' summer reality schedule

At night, she's a mixed martial arts competitor. Al-Hameed's life has been filled with experiences that put her physical and mental acumen to the test. She has her black belt in jujitsu and is an Army veteran. She's been a conductor for the railroad and worked as a correctional officer.

Along with an extensive resume, she also brings swagger to the new season of "Tough as Nails."

"I'd rather just let my work and my work ethic speak volumes," she said. "I think it's important for people to see workers in these different trades"

Al-Hameed said her mother and her wife were both sources of inspiration during the competition. Her mother raised four children by herself. 

"To this day, she's my toughest nail," Al-Hameed said.

"I hope that people see that it's okay to be who you are no matter what. And also it doesn't matter what your current situation is, you can always change it. I came from not-so-great upbringing and I made my way through it. And I just hope to show other people that they can make it too," she said.

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