FDNY promotes 2nd-ever female battalion chief
Battalion Chief Michele Fitzsimmons has been with the department for 19 years and comes from a family of FDNY firefighters
By Laura French
NEW YORK — An FDNY member has become the second woman in the department's history to be promoted to battalion chief.
FDNY Battalion Chief Michele Fitzsimmons was promoted in a ceremony on Thursday alongside 46 other fire and EMS officers. The first woman to hold the same position at the department was now-retired Battalion Chief Rochelle "Rocky" Jones, who was promoted in 2003, according to the New York Daily News.
"I'm happy that I've reached this point in my career doing something that I love. I've learned so much from this job and it's exciting for me to move through the ranks in a Department that has given so much to me," Fitzsimmons said in a statement. "I've been given a lot of support here along the way and I feel like this new rank gives me even more of a chance to give back."
Fitzsimmons has served with the department for 19 years and comes from a family of FDNY firefighters; her grandfather was also a battalion chief, her great-grandfather was an FDNY firefighter and her sister has also joined the department as a firefighter.
"I've reached the rank that my grandfather achieved before he retired and that makes this even more special because I'm following in his footsteps," Fitzsimmons said. "I'm excited to be following in 'Rocky's' footsteps too because I've always admired her. I always believe that we can achieve our goals in life. We just need to have a strong desire to do it and we have to put the time in and work hard and we can really achieve anything."