Black Woman Becomes First “Big City” Fire Chief

Teresa Deloach-Reed will take over in Oakland, California from interim Chief Mark Hoffman.

Posted: 02/07/2012 01:39 PM EST
Teresa Deloach-Reed named Oakland Fire Chief

In the city of Oakland, it’s not only men putting out fires. In a career spent climbing ladders, Teresa Deloach-Reed has become the first Black woman to serve as fire chief of a major metropolitan fire department in the United States.

Starting in March, Deloach-Reed, 53, will head the 580-person Oakland fire department. In her previous position she served as assistant fire chief of San Jose, California.

"There are still a lot of [fire] departments that don't have any women," Deloach-Reed told Reuters. "We still have a long way to go in regards to breaking down the doors."

Nationwide, in 2010, fewer than 4 percent of U.S. firefighters were women and just over 6 percent were Black, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Deloach-Reed will take over in Oakland from interim Chief Mark Hoffman.

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(Photo:  Associated PressAP)

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