The city now has its first female firefighter in Fire Department history.
Rebecca Lema, of East Providence, who was briefly a firefighter for the City of Central Falls, graduated from the Cranston fire training academy and holds the rank of probationary firefighter, according to Fire Chief William M. McKenna. Lema, one of 16 academy graduates, began work the week of March 25 and is assigned for the time being to an engine company at Station 2 on Pontiac Avenue, McKenna said Tuesday.
City officials have acknowledged that the department never had a female firefighter although they said they tried hard in recent years to attract female candidates. The 195-member department also is believed to be the only city fire department in Rhode Island currently lacking a member of a racial or ethnic minority group.