Changing the “Face” of the Fire Service

There aren’t a lot of women who are Chiefs in the Fire Service. District 6 Chief Kristan Mauer is one of a very small number of Fire Chiefs in Washington State, but one group is trying to change that.

The Northwest Fire Diversity Council wants to increase the number of women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups working in the fire service in Oregon and Washington.

A career in the fire service is among the most rewarding that any man or women–from any background–can aspire to. While sometimes looked upon as heroes, they are simply members of the departments they work for, service providers for the cities that employ them, and critical support systems for the communities they service. The council says those in the fire service do this without regard to race, ethnic background, religious beliefs, gender, economic status, age, health, social status, sexual orientation, or language.

Along with other current and former fire service professionals, Chief Maurer is a member of the Board of Directors of the NWFDC. “We believe the fire service should be a mirror of the community it serves,” says Chief Maurer. “When we have characteristics and cultural understanding similar to all segments of our community we do a better job of serving that community. And that’s why diversity is so important.”


-Excerpts of this story from The Gated Wye