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Thread: For First Time, a Woman Is a City Fire Battalion Chief

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    For First Time, a Woman Is a City Fire Battalion Chief

    For First Time, a Woman Is a City Fire Battalion Chief
    By ELISSA GOOTMAN

    Rochelle T. Jones was working as a secretary at a Manhattan bank when she first learned that the New York Fire Department was accepting job applications from women. Back then, firefighters were called firemen, and many were vocal about their desire to keep it that way.

    More than 25 years, a class action lawsuit and several promotions later, Rocky Jones, as she is known, has become the first woman to be promoted to battalion chief, one of the most coveted supervisory ranks in the department.

    Chief Jones, 45, whose ********* officially goes into effect on Saturday, was reluctant to detail her early struggles in the department after yesterday's swearing-in ceremony. She seemed uncomfortable with the microphones and cameras thrust in her face, and said that while she is a role model for young women, "Anyone who gets promoted in the department is a role model for someone."

    "It's really a team effort, everything you do in a firehouse," she explained in a telephone interview yesterday afternoon. "If you're singled out for something that everyone else around you is doing, it's very difficult."

    For other women connected to the department

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    FIRE FEMS' BURNING DESIRE TO SUCCEED

    FIRE FEMS' BURNING DESIRE TO SUCCEED

    By LEELA de KRETSER


    June 26, 2003 -- Brave New York women, the city needs you.
    Rochelle "Rocky" Jones may have made history yesterday as New York's first woman fire chief, but her fellow female firefighting pioneers are wondering who will be next.

    Just 22 firewomen currently work for the FDNY - just over half the number of females who controversially sued their way into the department 21 years ago.

    And though plenty of retired firewomen turned up at the department's ********* ceremony in Queens yesterday to watch Jones make battalion chief, there were just a few young females in uniform in the crowd.

    This is the FDNY's big problem - the 42 women who took on the department in a 1982 lawsuit have started to get old and get out, and modern New York gals are not replacing them.

    Despite a record number of women applying this year, women still have trouble meeting the physical requirements for the job. Right now, there are 22 women in a department of about 11,000.

    "Right now, it's moving in the wrong direction, and they are not passing the physical test," Jones said yesterday after receiving her *********.

    But the 41-year-old from Staten Island sees no reason for changing the physical tests to make them more accommodating of women.

    "I think the test that is in right now is a totally trainable test if people train themselves," she said.

    Deputy Commissioner Frank Gribbon told The Post that 501 women had passed the most recent written exam in December to join the FDNY and were getting help from a health club to do better in the upcoming physical test.

    "We are working with them to try and help as many women as possible to not only pass the test, but be good firefighters," Gribbon said.

    http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/1887.htm


    New Fire Battalion Chief Rocky Jones kisses hubby Jon Thomas yesterday.
    - Brigitte Stelzer

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