Alicia Welch knew she wanted a career that would challenge her mentally and physically, leading her to become a firefighter three decades ago.
“I just wanted to help people and have a job where I would have to think and act,” the Lompoc Fire Department’s new chief told Noozhawk.
A badge-pinning ceremony for Welch occurred Tuesday night during the Lompoc City Council meeting, a week after she started her new job.
“I am really happy to be here serving you and this community,” Welch said during the meeting.
She came to Lompoc from a stint starting in 2018 with the Golden Fire Department in Colorado. Before that, she spent 27 years in various capacities with the Los Angeles City Fire Department from 1990 to 2017, rising in the ranks from firefighter to battalion chief.
She is the first woman to serve as fire chief in Santa Barbara County or any of its cities.