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Queen Anunay, A DC native with 30+ years in public service, promoted as DC's first woman Assistant Fire Chief

The name Queen is a fitting one for a woman so confident and ready to command from a position of compassion and integrity, that she's breaking glass ceilings.

WASHINGTON — The first responder community celebrated the breaking of a major glass ceiling to the applause of a standing ovation Tuesday morning, as DC Fire announced the first-ever woman in the role of Assistant Fire Chief.

Queen Anunay, who has over 30 years of experience since being hired as a cadet in the class of 1991 and who currently leads the EMS division, took on the high-ranking title in a ceremony held by DC Fire officials Tuesday.  

Anunay is a DC native and graduated from Eastern High School in '91. She spoke to cheers from her peers at the event honoring her and the other women, civilians and officers, of the DC Fire & EMS department.

'We are here today to celebrate the women that you see here today in uniform, but there are so many boss ladies within this agency who also deserved to be recognized during this event, our civilian sisters," said Anunay. "I have stood on the shoulders of many giants, men and women of all nationalities, to get to this moment."

RELATED: DC women’s teams form coalition to help support others across the region

The new Assistant Fire Chief spoke about how she knew very little about the department as a young 18-year-old woman from Ward 7 when she joined the department straight out of high school. And ended her remarks with her advice to women.

"I hope that this accomplishment can be seen as proof that breaking barriers is possible with discipline and hard work when given the opportunity. And for women aspiring to lead, always, always, BYOE. Bring your own energy to the table."

Her mentor, former DC Deputy Fire Chief Beatrice Rudder, was among the many heaping praises for Anunay on her qualifications, experience, and attitude that got her to the position she is in now.

"I felt empowered. I saw the respect she received when she interacted with other officers, and she was really carrying her own weight," commented Anunay. "And I know that's where I wanted to be."

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