MercuryNews.com
MercuryNews.com

The city of Oakland, Calif., made history last week when it hired the first African-American woman as the fire chief of a major metropolitan area, according to Reuters. Teresa Deloach-Reed, 53, is slated to take control of the Oakland Fire Department in March, leading a group of 580.

Advertisement

"It's exciting," Deloach-Reed told Reuters in a telephone interview.

It is a historic day for both Oakland and Deloach-Reed, especially given the grim statistics regarding both female and black firefighters.

Advertisement

"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 percent of U.S. firefighters were women, and just over 6 percent 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 one the Oakland Fire Department made last week.

Read more at Reuters.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter