SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Seminole County Fire Assistant Chief Becky Ward loves to cook.
On the menu Thursday were chicken biscuits with a hint of goat cheese, a meal she prepared for the crew at Seminole County Fire Station 12.
“Cooking has always been a part of our family and so my love of food, I just brought that with me when I came to the fire service,” Ward said.
It was in 1993 when Ward joined the fire department after she was inspired by her father, who served in the Geneva Fire Department.
“There were females (at) the Seminole County Fire Department, we had one female lieutenant at the time when I was hired,” Ward said.
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Over the years, Ward climbed the ladder, becoming a lieutenant, a battalion chief, and in 2020, she was promoted to assistant fire chief.
“The fire chief asked me to cover fire support and I kind of went kicking and screaming, and once I got into it, it’s been very rewarding,” she explained.
According to the department, there are currently only 23 female firefighters with SCFD, including four female lieutenants.
“You have to have a service heart to want to do this job because it’s not for everyone. So, if somebody male or female wanted to do this job, they really have to have the heart for it and the desire to do it and then make it happen,” Ward said.
For Ward, there’s another big job, the most important one, being a mother.
With two daughters, two stepchildren, and several grandchildren at home, Ward said she will miss her extended firefighter family once she retires in April.
“It’s bittersweet. I’m ready to retire. 30 years is a long time and that was the purpose of the farewell tour, to be able to spend one last meal, one last time, joking around, getting some pictures and spending time with the people who had a significant impact in my career,” she said.
Ward will continue her farewell fire station tour before putting her badge away by cooking meals for the crews.
Thanks @EzzyCastro from @news6wkmg for hanging with Assistant Chief Becky Ward’s farewell station cooking 🧑🍳 tour after 30 years of service. pic.twitter.com/AgNlDaw5M3— Seminole County Fire Department (SCFD) PIO Media (@scfdpio) March 9, 2023
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