Lexington got its first female fire chief Thursday with the appointment of Kristin Chilton, a 23-year veteran of the department.
Chilton, 48, was an assistant chief until Mayor Jim Gray selected her for the top job. She was one of 32 applicants for the position.
“This is an important day for our city,” Gray said. “Public safety is a top priority for our citizens and for me. Kristin Chilton has the experience and the vision to lead our firefighters.”
Gray said he has appointed two fire chiefs during his tenure as mayor. Both were firsts for Lexington.
Chilton succeeds Keith Jackson, the city’s first black fire chief. Harold Hoskins has been serving as interim chief since Jackson retired in January after 25 years with the department. Jackson was appointed in 2012.
Chilton said that when she was a young girl there were no female career firefighters. She visited a fire station as part of a first-aid class during her undergraduate studies at Transylvania University, and met Lisa Daley, Lexington’s first female firefighter.