Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman has announced the promotional appointment of Helen Jo to the position of Deputy Chief, becoming the first woman in the Los Angeles County Fire Department's 85-year history to be promoted to this executive level rank.
In her new position, Jo will manage three of the Department's busiest divisions, including Construction and Maintenance, Fire Fleet Services and Materials Management. These divisions are responsible for the development and maintenance of all fire stations and other Department facilities, the maintenance and acquisition of all fire apparatus and other vehicles, and the procurement of all supplies and services.
Korean-born Jo began her career with the County of Los Angeles 20 years ago, spending nine years at the Auditor-Controller Department in the Audit and Tax Divisions, before joining the Fire Department in 1998 as a budget officer. In 2002, she was promoted to Chief of the Financial Management Division. Jo led the Financial Management Division within the Administrative Services Bureau for the past six years, providing fiscal oversight, planning, forecasting and management of the Department's $900 million budget. She managed the Division's two sections, Accounting Services and Budget Services, playing a critical role in ensuring the Department's fiscal stability and maintaining the integrity of financial reporting, effectively safeguarding public trust in the Department.
When she first joined the Department, she became interested in joining the firefighter ranks but soon realized that working behind the scenes as an administrator was an equally valued contribution toward carrying out the organization's mission.
Jo emigrated with her family from Korea at the age of four and grew up in the downtown Los Angeles area; she is currently a resident of Sierra Madre. She serves as President of the Department's Chief Officer Club and holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, with a concentration in Finance and Accounting. She is an avid golfer and regularly participates in the Department's many charitable golf tournaments, including the annual Firefighters Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit surviving family members of fallen County firefighters.