Philadelphia is about to promote its first Black female battalion fire chief. CBS3 spoke exclusively with the trailblazing firefighter for our Justice and Understanding series.
“It kind of feels weird because I’ve been a captain for seven years so to hear chief, because people have already started, but I’m like no, that’s not me yet,” Capt. Lisa Forrest said.
Not yet, but soon enough Capt. Forrest of Ladder 24 in West Philadelphia will be Battalion Chief Forrest. She will be the first Black woman to hold that title in the department’s history.
“The fire department has been in existence for 149 years so to hear that, it’s not surprising and I’m going, to be honest, I didn’t think that I would be the first,” Forrest said.
She says she fell into the career.
Her original plan was to be a nurse. She enlisted in the Army after high school and a year at Penn State University. She was discharged due to an injury and when she returned home, the first department was hiring. She says she only planned on staying for five years.