The Charlotte Fire Department has officially made history as it promotes the first Latino to the position of battalion chief.
The fire department said after years of dedication, study and commitment, Juan Pablo Soto is the first Latino promoted to the rank of battalion chief. A news release said Soto, born in Guatemala, first came to the U.S. with the dream to follow in his father’s footsteps and enter a branch of the U.S. military. A year after moving to Charlotte in 2002, Soto passed his entrance test to Charlotte Fire and then began recruiting school in 2003.
"I moved to the United States when I was 18," Soto told Charlotte Fire. "Thankfully, English was taught to me when I went to school in Guatemala, but little of the vocabulary I learned had anything to do with the fire service. I didn't know what a hydrant was. I didn't know what a sledgehammer was, nothing related to being a firefighter."