Cape Town firefighter Arlene Wehr has become the first woman to fill a position at operations level in the city’s fire service since its establishment in 1845
Originally from Mitchells Plain, Wehr joined the Fire and Rescue Service in 1996. In 2004, she became the first female station officer in the service, and in 2014 she was the first female divisional commander.
According to the City, she gave up her desk job in the private sector to pursue her passion of serving others.
“I enjoy serving the community and developing staff to improve service delivery. I hope my achievement will inspire other young women to join the service”, Wehr told the Cape Time.
Wehr has been appointed as operations head for District West in the city from June 1 and will be responsible for key stations which cover the Table Mountain range and industrial areas. She will be responsible for the Cape Town (Roeland Street), Sea Point, Salt River, Epping, Brooklyn, Hout Bay, Constantia and Wynberg fire stations.
The City’s Safety and Security mayoral committee member, JP Smith, applauded Wehr for her hard work and hoped it would encourage others.
City of Cape Town firefighter, Arlene Wehr became one of the first female firefighters in the City’s ranks in 1996. Fast-forward 23 years and she steadily worked her way through the ranks to become the first female Head: Operations – District West. https://t.co/Hdao7Af4Fa #CTNews pic.twitter.com/rFKpqoNcAY
— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) June 10, 2019
“It is not an easy job, but it can be fulfilling, and Ms Wehr has proven that it can be a rewarding one on so many levels,” he said.
“She has written herself into the City’s history books, with humility and determination, unwittingly blazing a trail for others to follow.”