PITTSFORD, NY (WROC)- For the first time in Pittsford Fire District history, a woman has been brought on to serve as fire commissioner.
Patricia Cline, or Kelly as she is known, is taking on the role of fire commissioner for the Pittsford fire district, after 20 years of volunteer fire service.
“I think I got the bug when I was in the explorer post and I learned what it was to give back to our community,” Cline said.
The Pittsford native says she joined both fire and ambulance exploratory programs in school. After becoming a licensed nurse practitioner, she volunteered as a firefighter, became a fire marshal for the town, and got involved in the fire preventative program for town.
“We have a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers in the Pittsford Fire Association that provide the personnel to the fire district,” Cline said.
“The gentleman and these ladies here, we have dedicated volunteers very supportive. They never treated me any different, they don’t treat me as a female they treat me as a firefighter.”
That is when the town asked Cline to sit as one of seven commissioners of the Pittsford Fire District. She will be involved in providing services for fire and emergencies to residents in the Pittsford Fire District, organizing district fire volunteers, and purchasing equipment and trucks for stations.
The role is based in knowledge and community service, and Cline is the first female to ever hold it in district history.
“The fire district has been very supportive of women in this department,” Cline said. “The volunteer fire agency has been supportive of women in this fire department. So I look at it as just a matter of, I got elected because of my training and because of my experience.”
Cline hopes that her accomplishment can push other women to get involved in firefighting agencies, as volunteers are always needed throughout the area.
Pittsford Town Supervisor William Smith, Jr. said of the appointment that “voters in fire district chose wisely and well, as Cline’s knowledge alone of area is quite formidable and experience is valuable to the town.” He went on to say “it shows that, as we do here at town hall, the people of town are looking for ability first and when people focus on that, then barriers tend break.”