RFD Promotes Five Firefighters
A first for the Rochester Fire Department as five members were promoted to officer ranks during a Monday morning ceremony downtown. YNN's Mike Hedeen explains what set this promotional ceremony apart from others.
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Five Rochester Firefighters were moved up the ranks during a small ceremony at the Gleason Auditorium at the Rochester Public Library.
Three became lieutenants and two were promoted to captain, including the first woman in the department's history to hold that rank. Christine Schryver is a 16 year RFD veteran. She was promoted to lieutenant in 2007.
Besides being the Department's first female captain, Schryver also leads the Fire Safety Division.
"I guess it really hasn't sunk in yet," said Captain Christine Schryver, Rochester Fire Department. "I more look about what I need to do in the position and maybe a little bit more responsibility and making sure you do right by the people in the community. But in terms of kind of being a new thing for the Fire Department, I guess I'm just one of the guys sometimes too so it's actually not too different than what I was doing this morning."
Before moving into the Fire Safety Division at the Public Safety Building about a year and a half ago, Captain Schryver worked out of the Engine 12 Firehouse on Wisconsin Street.
It's a small station with just four Firefighters on duty each shift. Captain Schryver said there have been challenges along the way being a woman in a field that's traditionally dominated by men. Adding many of those challenges she imposed on herself. Schryver said hard work helped earn the respect and support of male peers.
"If you're willing to work hard they're willing to help you and I think you can't ask for more than that. It is a physical job working on the line division, and I think we owe it to the community as women or men on this job to keep ourselves in great shape and continue to hone our skills whether its in a staff position like I do now or on the line division where it's a little bit more physical," Schryver said.
For Sam Mitrano, it was his second promotional ceremony in the four months he's been the interim Fire Chief, and one he calls the most memorable.
"Twenty-five years ago I came on with the first female, and now to be able to promote the first female to captain was a thrill for me," said Mitrano. "And actually for me it's been two promotions in a row; the last time I promoted the first trainee into a lieutenant position and here's my second promotion ceremony and I'm promoting the first female into a captain's spot. So it is very exciting."
Captain Schryver is hopeful the attention given to her promotion will inspire more women to consider a career in firefighting.