Arlington County Fire Department

Longtime Arlington Firefighter Is First Black Woman Deputy Fire Chief in Northern Virginia

"I love to be able to inspire, especially women, to just know that you can come into a male-dominated profession"

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A veteran firefighter in Arlington County, Virginia, is breaking barriers as she rises through the ranks.

Tiffanye Wesley is the first African American woman named deputy fire chief in all of Northern Virginia.

"You can do anything that you put your mind to. I mean, look at what we're looking at in America today having a African-American female as vice president-elect,"
Wesley said.

Wesley has been with the Arlington County Fire Department for 26 years, and has worked in just about every capacity there is, including on the bomb squad. Two years ago, she became the first African American woman battalion chief in Northern Virginia.

"I love to be able to inspire, especially women, to just know that you can come into a male-dominated profession. It's a very difficult profession, but you can do it," Wesley said.

Chief David Povlitz says she was a top choice.

"We had a very wide field, a very qualified field. It was a hard choice, but she rose to the top based on her experience and her qualifications. We're delighted and she's off to a good start," Povlitz said.

Wesley’s husband Eric is a lieutenant for the Arlington County Fire Department.

"I out-rank him at home as well," Wesley laughed. "I make him call me chief."

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