HomeAsian AmericansNew York City Fire Department Adds First Asian American Female Fire Officer

New York City Fire Department Adds First Asian American Female Fire Officer

Thirty New York City firefighters became lieutenants in a promotion ceremony on Wednesday, New York Daily News reports. The first Asian American woman to join the fire officer ranks was among them.

Lt. Sarinya Srisakul became the first Asian American female firefighter to be promoted to lieutenant after working at Engine 5 for 14 years.

According to the New York Daily News, the FDNY has been dominated by white males. Today the FDNY serves a city of 8.5 million people, 60 percent of whom are minorities.

Women and people of color have fought for their inclusion in the New York City Fire Department. In 1982, 41 women managed to break into the all-male department with the help of a federal lawsuit.

Lt. Srisakul’s promotion is another historic milestone for the FDNY. The former president of United Women Firefighters says she hopes her promotions inspires other women.

“Becoming an officer is something that I always wanted to do because I always looked up to the women officers in the United Women Firefighters organization, and I hope seeing me getting promoted helps other women to know that they can achieve what they want in their careers, too, as long as they work hard and stay focused on their goals,” Srisakul told New York Daily News.

The FDNY now has two women of color serving as fire officers at the same time. Lt. Srisakul and her fellow lieutenants will be assigned to units throughout New York City.

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