Female Firefighter Earns Historic Promotion At OKC Dept.
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City firefighter's promotion is one that's making history for the department. The firefighter is now the city's first female Operations District Chief.
Over the past 19 years Cathy Hayes has worked her way through the ranks to now hold the title of District Chief in Operations.
It takes a special type of person to have the courage and guts to run into a burning home.
“When we are all decked out in our gear and everything we look exactly the same. You can't tell if you're a man or a woman,” said Hayes.
Hayes is one of 17 women with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
Working in a typically male dominated field, Hayes said being a woman has never been an issue.
“It's not just the guys and the girls. It's everybody. It's a family atmosphere. And we have fun and that's what it's all about,” she said.
However Hayes said she does feel a sense of "girl power" working her way up to hold this coveted title.
She'll now be in charge of coordinating the attack plan for large fires and emergencies.
“It's very fast-paced, quick-thinking, in a short span you've got to make those decisions,” said Hayes.
But a challenge for which she's ready and a label she's honored to have earned. Despite the recognition Hayes is now receiving for this promotion, she remains focused on the important job the men and women of the Oklahoma City Fire Department do every day for the people of the city.
“When the lights kick on it's basically going out there doing our job for the citizens,” she said.
Oklahoma City Fire does have females in other chief positions.
And they are always hiring, if you think you have what it takes.