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SC city’s first female fire chief to step down

Chief Karen Brack helped modernize the department and develop mutual aid agreements


Fire Chief Karen Brack.

Photo/Charleston Fire Department

By FireRescue1 Staff

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Five years after serving as the city’s first female fire chief, Karen Brack announced she will resign Friday morning.

“It is with very mixed feelings that I have made a personal decision to resign my position as fire chief effective April 7, 2017,” Chief Brack announced in an email. “It has been a great honor to serve this department and this community.”

Chief Brack became chief in 2012 after Chief Thomas Carr resigned due to difficulties with Parkinson’s disease, reported the Post and Courier. Carr, who died a year later, was credited with making changes to the department following the 2007 Sofa Super Store fire that killed nine firefighters.

Chief Brack continued Carr’s legacy, and helped modernize the department and develop mutual aid agreements with nearby departments.

City councilwoman Kathleen Wilson said Chief Brack’s resignation was a surprise, and noted the chief led a department that is overwhelmingly male.

“That’s always a tough role because you’re working with so many people and so many different personalities, so it’s a tough place to be,” Wilson said.