Saturday, February 4, 2023

Jersey City’s first female assistant chief becomes NJ’s highest ranking fire officer

New Jersey – Deputy Fire Chief Constance Zapella has made history once again!

As the first female firefighter to join the Jersey City Fire Department, Zapella has become the department’s first female assistant chief, making her the highest-ranking female professional fire officer in New Jersey, the city announced.

Mayor Steven Fulop was joined by Public Safety Director James Shea and was set to promote four deputy fire chiefs, including Fire Chief Steven McGill Zapella.

“I am no longer the young woman who tried to change a century old tradition. I am now humbled and honored to serve as the highest ranking professional fire officer in the state and city where I was born “The difference between my success and my failure is the network of people I built who supported me throughout my journey.”

Born and raised in Jersey City, Zappella has served as a battalion chief in the Greenville neighborhood, the city said.

As the first female firefighter to join the Jersey City Fire Department, Zappella has been a trailblazer since the start of her career in 2003, the city said. To date, the Jersey City Fire Department has 17 women, including Zappella’s sister, Francesca, who was sworn in two years ago.

In addition to Zapella, the department has other newly promoted underbosses: Joseph Altomonte, Lorraine Hart, and Sean O’Connor.

“As the most diverse city in the nation and the largest municipal fire department in the state, we already recognized that we needed to add more diverse representation across all ranks, which is why I am especially proud of Deputy Chief Zappella being sworn in. We are extremely proud of her, as she is a true trailblazer and an inspiration to our youth in Jersey City and beyond,” Fulop said. “Congratulations to the four new Deputy Chiefs who have worked so hard over the past two decades to support each other and keep our community safe.”

Nation World News Desk
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