In the 1990s, one of the leaders of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department proclaimed that the future of the PGFD would be different. Chief Steven T. Edwards, the fourth Chief of the Department, started training in the PGFD called FIRE FORCE 2000. This training began in the late 90s and his visionary stance was that the Department needed to be prepared for minorities being in command positions. He paved the way for the EEO Officer position in the Department, the Peer Mediation Program, the EAP/VAP Program and other tools to help the Department move forward to a more inclusive environment. His predictions about the future of the Fire Services has been revealed. County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, a visionary herself ,opened the door to the new era in Prince George’s County.
The seeds for this advancement throughout the region could be seen as an idea whose time has come, or a symbol of women making their presence felt in an organization that traditionally has long overlooked them. Maybe these powerful women in the Fire Service has understood how to navigate the organization and the political world together as other women were not able to do. This is not about a group of people, this is about an individual person ascending to the highest position in the organization. There have been women in the Fire Chief position before in the region, but today these women have emerged together.
We are proud that our first woman County Executive chose the first African American female Chief in the history of the region. Prince George’s County has achieved many firsts in its history and today this is as significant as any.