PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Fire Department held a ceremony to recognize its members who have been promoted over the past few months, including a few historic promotions.
One of those historic promotions was Crystal Yates who for the last 19-years, has worked as a Paramedic for the fire department.
On Tuesday she was formally honored for her promotion from a Paramedic Captain to Paramedic Services Chief, and she is the first African-American woman to do such.
“So I’m very excited, today,” she said.
Yates whose father also worked for the department says over the years she’s seen women make a lot of strides.
“When I was a child, I didn’t see many women on the job,” she said. “I used to visit the fire station often, and now seeing many women and many in rank I’m excited.”
Yates wants her promotion to be an inspiration.
“I feel like every young girls should take a job with the Philadelphia Fire Department, either as a firefighter or as a paramedic.
Robert Corrigan who’s been with the Philadelphia Fire Department for 23-years moved from the rank of Battalion Chief to Aircraft Rescue Firefighter Chief at Philadelphia International Airport.
“To me, the greatest honor of all is actually just being in the fire department,” he said. “It’s really been an honor for me, just to be part of the organization.”
Like many of the others being promoted, Corrigan says he does have a key to success, one that a lot of the promotees have in common.
“I can’t say enough about my family, my family who supported me though the long nights when I’ve been gone and the dangers that we all face together,” he said.
Corrigan’s position at Philadelphia International entails being ready to act just in case something happens to a plane on take off or landing.