GRAHAM, WA - Graham Fire and Rescue is making history in its Department by promoting a woman to lieutenant for the first time ever.
Since the fire department was founded in 1962, no woman has ever been promoted to lieutenant.
That changed this year.
“I felt it in my soul for wanting to be here and serve my community,” said Jill D’len.
D’len has been a firefighter with Graham Fire and Rescue for more than 10 years. She first step through the department’s doors on a ride along in high school and knew what she wanted to do with her life.
“It just stuck with me it was all I could think about,” she said.
After more than ten years with the department, she is taking on a historic new position.
“It’s absolutely an honor to me to be the first female,” said D’len. “I just want to be the best lieutenant that I can possibly be,” she added.
She tested as one of the top in the class along with another firefighter, however the two made a vow not to share who scored higher.
The two Graham firefighters also made another vow to each other; they’re married.
Zac D’len has also been with Graham Fire and Rescue for about ten years. He says he is not surprised his wife is making history at the department.
“I didn’t really give it too much thought as far as her gender. I just knew she is amazing at her job, and has the passion for her job,” said Zac D’len.
More than a decade ago, Jill D’len says she wasn’t even sure she could be a firefighter, now she is making history as one.
“I believe that anybody who puts their mind to being a firefighter absolutely can, especially young women,” she said.