The city of Oakland, Calif., made history last week when they hired the first African American woman as the fire chief of a MAJOR metropolitan area.
53 year old Teresa Deloach-Reed, is slated to take control of the Oakland Fire Department in March, leading a group of 580. “It’s exciting,” Deloach-Reed said during a recent interview.
It’s a historic day for both Oakland and Deloach-Reed, especially given the grim statistics regarding both female and black firefighters.
“There are still a lot of departments that don’t have any women,” said Deloach-Reed. “We still have a long way to go in regards to breaking down the doors.”
As of 2010, less than 4% of U.S. firefighters were women, and just over 6% were black, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
We wish Deloach-Reed all the best in her new position, and hope her appointment opens the eyes of fire departments in other cities. The first step to being a change agent is making moves like the Oakland Fire Department did last week.
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