City of Maitland hires first female fire chief

31-year department veteran, Assistant Chief Kimberly Neisler promoted

By Julie Broughton - Anchor

MAITLAND, Fla. - The city of Maitland is making history by appointing its first female fire chief.

Assistant Chief Kimberly Neisler is a 31-year-veteran of the department and starts her new role on October 6.

"The bottom line is you can do anything you set your mind to.  And my daughters are proof as well.  One is a firefighter/paramedic and the other two are registered nurses.  We are all in the service industry and love it," Neisler said.

Neisler started in the department when she was just 18 years old.  Since then, she became a paramedic and a registered nurse. She says that background inspired her to implement a program that focuses on customer care, and follows up with patients after the initial call.

"The patient gets to know the paramedic that's taking care of them and are often receptive and shocked when we come back to visit," Neisler said.

Neilser is replacing current Chief Kenneth Neuhard, who is retiring and moving to Texas.  She says she wants to focus on mentoring younger firefighters, so they can rise through the ranks like she did.

"The fact that I had really good mentors and great people to help me through this process and organization is the reason I am where I am," Neilser said.

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