Women in the Fire Service, Inc.

Recent news headlines and ongoing projects of interest to fire service women

  Bonnie Bleskachek was named chief of the Minneapolis Fire Department on November 7. Prior to this appointment, Bleskachek was a battalion chief managing a fire district with five stations. She has also served in the department as captain, human resources officer, and deputy chief of training.
  Debra Pryor was chosen as the next chief of the Berkeley, California, Fire Department in early November. She will become only the second African-American woman to be chief of a career-level fire department.
  Firefighter Jaime L. Foster, of the Los Angeles City Fire Department, died in the line of duty on August 14, 2004.
  Barbara Bordenkircher, a volunteer firefighter with the Wickliffe, Kentucky, Rural Fire Department, died in the line of duty on August 10, 2004.
  Connie C. Bornman, a firefighter/EMT with the Middle River Volunteer Rescue Company in Baltimore County, Maryland, died in the line of duty May 17, 2004.
  Lexington, Kentucky, Lieutenant Brenda Cowan died in the line of duty on February 13, 2004 when she was shot at the scene of a domestic dispute. She is believed to be the first African-American woman firefighter to die in the line of duty.
Joanne Hayes-White was named January 9, 2004 as chief of the San Francisco Fire Department. Hayes-White, who has been with the department for 14 years, served as Deputy Assistant Chief for four years. San Francisco is the largest municipal fire department to be headed by a woman.
  Seattle/Tacoma Blaze 2003 was held in North Bend, Washington, in July of 2003. Click here to read about BLAZE and their fire training camps for young women. The next camp is scheduled for the summer of 2005.
  Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion presents the experiences of women at the World Trade Center site on and after September 11. Copies of this important and moving book are available from WFS.

WFS has also collected stories from women who responded to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon following the September 11 attacks. Click here for the collected stories.

   Ontario firefighter killed October 20, 2002, in vehicle crash.
   Firefighter killed when fire truck overturns near McLeansville, NC, September 23, 2002.
  Redding, California, woman killed along with two other USFS firefighters in engine crash, July 28, 2002
   Eastern Oregon woman one of five firefighters killed in van crash, June 21, 2002
   North Carolina firefighter dies in single-vehicle crash, June 13, 2002
  An "Event of Elegance" in Atlanta on June 7, 2002, honored the achievement of Rosemary Roberts Cloud, the first African-American woman to become a fire chief.
   Alabama firefighter killed in pumper crash, April 7, 2002
   Montana wildland firefighter dies while training for fitness test, March 18, 2002.
   Rosemary Roberts Cloud becomes first African-American woman fire chief, March 14, 2002.
   Ohio firefighter Lea Ann Parsley wins Olympic silver medal in skeleton, February 20, 2002.
   Tennessee firefighter dies following SCBA training, December 12, 2001
  Another view of 9/11: Women responders tell their stories
   U.S. Forest Service firefighters die in blowup on the Okanogan N.F. in Washington, July 10, 2001; another firefighter injured saving hikers in same fire
   Ohio firefighter killed when tree falls on ambulance, July 10, 2001
   WFS' March 2001 conference in Cobb County, Georgia (with photos)

Let us know about fire and rescue service women in your area. E-mail news to us at .

Last updated November 9, 2004.
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