Joy Wallace can frequently be seen at local fires. Just like any of the male firefighters, Wallace would suit up in the turnout gear (protective clothing) and don the self contained breathing apparatus, which would weigh around 60 pounds or more. She would risk her life while facing infernos to protect and rescue citizens and to save their property.
She started out as a firefighter and through diligence, dedication and hard work has worked her way up through the ranks. On Tuesday night, Nov. 20, at Chesterfield Fire and EMS promotion ceremony, Wallace made history in the county fire department – she was the first female promoted to Battalion Chief. Wallace will be in command of fire and rescue scenes in her district and will oversee four to five fire stations.
“It’s an honor to be part of this team,” said County Administrator James J. L. Stegmaier, to department members who were present, “You are the best of the best.”
Fire Chief Edward L. Senter, Jr., praised the organization and said, “It’s great service by great people…twenty-four people will be eligible to retire within the next five years, meaning there is always a need for incoming personnel.”
In all, two civilian employees of the fire department were promoted: thirteen firefighters were promoted to the rank of fire lieutenant; ten lieutenants were promoted to rank of captain and three captains were promoted to the rank of battalion chief.
Battalion Chief John D. Boatwright was promoted to rank of Assistant Fire Chief over the entire county.