AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Fire Department recently promoted the first woman ever to battalion chief.
Rebecca “Becky” Ackerman is one of 73 female firefighters at AFD, which has a total staff of 1,007 people. She has worked there for 24 years, and before that was in the U.S. Army. Most recently, Ackerman led AFD’s Communications section. She was promoted to captain in 2014.
Ackerman’s family has a long history with the Austin Fire Department. Her father was an assistant chief, her uncle recently retired as a lieutenant and her brother is a dispatcher.
“There’s a long history of public service in my family and I wanted to continue that tradition,” Ackerman said. “After spending the past two decades gaining the necessary experience, I decided earlier this year that the time was right for me to sit for the Battalion Chief’s exam and assessment center. I’m beyond excited and thrilled to have achieved this goal.”
Ackerman has also received AFD’s second-highest award for her work during the devastating October flooding in 2013. She also has several Phoenix Awards, which are given to those who resuscitate someone having a heart problem.