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Melissa Hilpert becomes Rural Metro's 1st female fire chief

Paramedic symbol and phone number emergency truck
Posted at 5:03 PM, Jan 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-29 19:03:05-05

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — A 22-year firefighting veteran has become the first female fire chief in the 75-year history of Rural Metro Fire, a private firefighting company based in Scottsdale.

Melissa Hilpert assumed her duties of overseeing Rural Metro's fire stations in the Yuma area of southwestern Arizona this month. Hilpert said as a woman she feels "it's important to let other women know that there can only be a barrier to their success if they allow one."

Hilpert began her career with the Rural Metro Fire as a reserve firefighter and EMT in 2000. She also has worked as a certified paramedic firefighter, wildland firefighter, rescue diver and in various supervisory positions.

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