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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Thumbs up SF Mayor names woman as next fire chief

    SF Mayor Newsom names woman as city's next fire chief

    SAN FRANCISCO - A 14-year veteran of the San Francisco Fire Department was tapped Saturday to take over the agency's top job, a nomination likely to make her the first woman to head a major California fire department and one of the few female fire bosses in the nation.

    If she is confirmed by the San Francisco Fire Commission, which is considered probable, Joanne Hayes-White would head an 1,800-person department that only hired its first woman firefighter in 1987 and was later ordered by a court to hire more women and minorities.

    "I think it sends a message to young women, little girls and women in general that there are no boundaries," Hayes-White said at an event to announce her appointment by newly installed Mayor Gavin Newsom. "You can do whatever you like."

    Hayes-White, 39, would replace outgoing fire chief Mario Trevino, who resigned in October but agreed to stay on until Newsom took office.

    As of last September, just 16 U.S. fire departments had female chiefs, but none of the agencies was as large as San Francisco's, according to the website of Women in the Fire Service, a non-profit group in Madison, Wis. Among the larger female-headed departments were those in Cobb County, Georgia; Tacoma, Washington; and Little Rock, Arkansas. The only California agencies headed by a woman were in Davis and Carmel-by-the-Sea.

    Officials with Women in the Fire Service could not be reached for comment.

    About 6,200 women work as full-time career firefighters and officers nationwide, according to the website.

    "This is a historic day in San Francisco and this is a first for the San Francisco Fire Department and I am proud to have the privilege of making this choice," said Newsom, who was inaugurated only two days earlier and is, at 36, the city's youngest mayor in more than a century.

    Irma Herrera, executive director of Equality Rights Advocates, a San Francisco group that sued the department for discriminating against women in its hiring practices, attended Newsom's announcement and hailed the appointment as a breakthrough for women.

    "This is evidence that this is a great city and that women are making impressive gains in the fight towards equality," Herrera said. "Breaking into a boy's club has been a difficult, long-term process, but the women persevered."

    The San Francisco Fire Department was forced to diversify its ranks in 1988 after a U.S. District Court judge ordered the department to hire more women and minorities. Currently, about 230 of the city's 1,800 firefighters are women.

    Some female firefighters have voiced complaints about the department's male-dominated culture. In November, Kristin Odlaugh, a four-year veteran, filed a sexual harassment complaint, saying that drinking was common at her fire station and made work difficult.

    Newsom said he selected Hayes-White because of her support among the department's rank and file, familiarity with its neighborhood stations and budget experience.

    "She has distinguished herself as someone who understands dollars and has a tremendous amount of sense as well," Newsom said.

    Hayes-White would take the job at a time when the San Francisco Fire Department, like similar agencies across California, faces looming budget cuts at a time of a statewide financial crunch.

    "I look forward to coming up with creative solutions to avoid layoffs in San Francisco," she said.

    Hayes-White, a San Francisco native who has worked in all of the city's 41 fire stations, was most recently its assistant deputy chief and director of training.

    A graduate of Santa Clara University, she joined the department in 1990 and worked as a captain and battalion chief.

    Trevino held the top San Francisco job for two years after being hired from the Las Vegas Fire Department.
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  2. #2
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Oh my...

    Putting a 39 year old female Chief in a super,
    SUPER historical/old school department. This
    is going to interesting to watch...

  3. #3
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Default Nothing personal but..

    A 14 year "veteran" ? I smell a receipe for disaster. Sounds like the new Mayor is choosing form over function. Show me any 14 year member that is ready to lead a large metropolitan department and I will show you ulterior motives.

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default

    It sounds like "political correctness" run amok!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  5. #5
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Default

    Was there anyone else in the running?

  6. #6
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    She has served in the department as Captain, Battalion Chief, and Assistant Deputy Chief. She's worked her way up the ladder, and has served in all 41 stations, and from what the mayor says, has the support of all the other FFs.

    I wish her good luck with her new position
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Default

    It'll be interesting.

    Mario Trevino sure didn't last long in the position (2 years and a few weeks I think???), and I suspect she's getting support if for no other reason than at least she's not an outsider.

    Good luck to her, if she's earned respect, she'll get it. Sometimes luck and timing plays a part in promotions; sometimes politics; sometimes both.

  8. #8
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Default In a big city, small city, even in a small town..

    A fire chiefs job is almost always about POLITICS

  9. #9
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    Default

    If she's truly earned the position, I wish her the best.......however, it sounds to much like the Equality Rights Advocates had a big play in this one.
    Scott Maples
    www.Jeffersoncityfire.com
    Firefighter/EMT-IV

    If you're always talking, you're never listening...if you're not listening, you're not learning.

  10. #10
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    I wish her luck......... She's probably lucky ole Donna wasn't in the running though, because she would have got it.........

  11. #11
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nothing personal but..

    Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    A 14 year "veteran" ? I smell a receipe for disaster. Sounds like the new Mayor is choosing form over function. Show me any 14 year member that is ready to lead a large metropolitan department and I will show you ulterior motives.
    If after 14 years she had attained the rank of deputy chief and director of training, then why not be ready to lead the department?

  12. #12
    Senior Member WannabeintheFD's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    good luck to her, im sure she will do fine
    I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.

    - Thomas Edison

  13. #13
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re: Nothing personal but..

    Originally posted by cozmosis


    If after 14 years she had attained the rank of deputy chief and director of training, then why not be ready to lead the department?
    .... Maybe she is. Tell me how many 14 year members attain such a high rank in such a short time? I am not questioning the new Chiefs credibility but I also know how big city politics work.

  14. #14
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Default

    Good luck to her...............and I only got one question how many years does she need to be on to become Chief ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  15. #15
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    Default

    Fourteen.

    (It's in the article).

  16. #16
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    King.............if you noticed someone posted that they didnt think that 14 was enough ............so I was wondering what number should be !!!!!!!!!!!
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  17. #17
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    I see what everyone is saying. On one hand she has worked her way up the ladder, but on the other hand, it just seems odd that after 14 years, ANYONE would work their up the ladder that quick in a FD the size of San Fran.......

  18. #18
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    Default

    weruj1-

    just messin' with you (should have made that clearer-sorry).

    Although, just for the sake of conversation, I would like to see how many years the other top chiefs have.

  19. #19
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    Default Sounds like political correctness (incorrectness) to me....

    Since the quotes from the people appointing her show more interest in her gender than why she would be a great chief it casts doubt in my mind. Something else that kinda jumped out at me she has worked all 41 stations in 14 years. For me this is unheard of, it means she has worked three or more different stations each year she has been employed. That sounds like someone who has trouble fitting in. If she is confirmed I guess time will tell. Anybody know why Chief Trevino is leaving?

  20. #20
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    Default

    She was NEVER a line officer in a firehouse. She spent all of her time in office jobs. She most certainly does NOT have the support of the line Firemen. There were far far superior candidates with resumes as long as anyone. They also gave most of the senior Deputy Chiefs 30 days to clean out there desks. The replacements? ALL political appointments. And to think that this was done by a a Union Supported candidate.
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