NEW BRITAIN – Firefighters are reaching new heights in this city.
For the first time in the New Britain Fire Department’s 190-year history, two female firefighters have reached the rank of lieutenant.
Mayor Erin Stewart recently announced the promotion of Lauren Burns and Petra Chesanek to lieutenant.
“The city intentionally fosters an environment within our fire department that provides opportunities for female firefighters to rise up through the ranks,” Stewart said. “The fact that women are applying for lieutenant positions for the first time proves this ongoing shift to a modern, inclusive fire department culture continues to be successful.”
New Britain Fire Chief Raul Ortiz also expressed his pride for Burns and Chesanek.
“The New Britain Fire Department is committed to not only increasing the diversity of firefighters it hires, but to be more inclusive of those underrepresented groups throughout all ranks,” Ortiz said. “These two women have earned this position through a competitive testing process and will serve as outstanding role models to young ladies wishing to be firefighters in their new leadership roles.”
Burns was first hired by the NBFD in Aug. 2015. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Haven and has several certifications from the Connecticut Fire Academy. These include Pump Operator, Fire Service Instructor 1, Fire Officer 1 and Incident Safety Officer.
Burns ranked first on the promotional exam as certified by the Civil Service Commission.
Chesanek also joined the NBFD in 2015, and was a Motor Pump Operator before being promoted to lieutenant. She holds a degree in Mathematics and is currently pursuing a degree in Fire Administration from Colombia Southern University.
In addition to her duties at the NBFD, Chesanek also serves as a Technical Sergeant in the Air National Guard. Her certifications with the CT Fire Academy are as follows: Fire Service Instructor 1, Fire Officer 1 and Incident Safety Officer.
Chesanek ranked fifth in the promotional exam as certified by the Civil Service Commission.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.