VACAVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) —The Vacaville Fire Department made history this week when it announced its first-ever female fire captain, Mindy Simpson.
“It’s exciting and nerve-racking, but it’s something I’ve been working toward for a while so I’m ready for it,” Simpson said.
Simpson will be sworn in as fire captain later this year and will be the first-ever female captain in Vacaville. She’s spent almost 25 years with Vacaville Fire. She kicked off her career with the department as a firefighter and then later advanced to engineer – all while breaking barriers in the process.
“I was the only girl for five years. Then, I became the first engineer; now, I’m the first captain. There’s definitely — I guess, it’s not a new thing for me,” Simpson said.
But making it up the ladder as a woman – she said – can bring its own set of challenges
“It is a little more difficult as a woman to promote into different positions. I think you really have to prove yourself a whole lot more, which sometimes that can be unfair,” Simpson told FOX40.
“I was out back throwing ladders and all these guys were lined up in these little windows like watching me from inside just to see if I could do it,” Simpson recalled.
Despite the struggles she’s overcome to get to captain, Simpson said she’s ready to suit up and throw herself in the line of fire.
“I’m happy to be moving into it. It’s time to do something new. Let someone else move into my engineer role,” Simpson said.