Lisa Forrest has made history as the newest Battalion Chief to be promoted in the Philadelphia Fire Department. She is the first African American woman to ever occupy this position.“This is not for me, this is for somebody coming behind me to let them know that anything is possible,” Forrest said.
Forrest, who started her career as a firefighter in 2003, worked her way up the ladder quickly. Within just two years, she became a lieutenant. She also made history in 2013 when she became the first Black female captain. “Hopefully, they look at me and say if she can do it, I can do it,” said Forrest, who is also the first woman president of Club Valiants, a society for minority firefighters.
Forrest is also thankful for the support of her family, who were also trailblazers like her. She hopes to inspire other women with her determination as well. “I certainly do hope if women of any age or interest are watching this you know that you can do it, too,” Commissioner Thiel said. An outdoor promotion ceremony was recently held for Forrest, although those were usually held privately, according to Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel.