Profiles of Women Appointed Fire Chiefs: Pioneers for their Departments

Profiles of Women Appointed Fire Chiefs: Pioneers for their Departments

Women continue to make history in the Maryland Fire Service. During the past year, three women have been appointed to the role of Fire Chief and one the role of Chief Deputy around the state. All of these are firsts, making these women the highest-ranking female fire officials in each of the department’s history.

Tiffany Green

In November of 2018, Tiffany Green was appointed Chief Deputy of the Prince Georges County Fire Department. Green began her career as a firefighter with the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department in March of 1999 after serving as a volunteer for the Oxon Hill Volunteer Fire Department. As a 24-year fire services veteran, Tiffany holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Public Safety and Biology and a master’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management. Prior to the appointment, she was serving in the capacity of Deputy Fire Chief overseeing the Administrative Services Command. Under her command, she was responsible for Human Resources, Fiscal Affairs, Information Management, Risk Management and the Office of Service Excellence, Accreditation & Research. Her previous assignment was Director of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Training and Leadership Academy, where her primary responsibilities were training and professional development for over 900 sworn personnel and 1,200 volunteer members of the department. She also managed the High School Fire Science (Cadet) Program, which is a program for high school students who are interested in working in the Fire Services profession.

Christine Uhlhorn

December of 2018 continued to provide excitin news for the members of Howard County Fire and Rescue as Christine Uhlhorn was appointed as the departments first female Fire Chief. Uhlhorn is a twenty-nine-year veteran, and third-generation firefighter. In 1989, she became a career firefighter in the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services where she rose through the ranks. During her career with the department, she has served in a leadership role in various bureaus, such as Emergency Services, Education and Training, Emergency Management, and Logistics. Chief Uhlhorn is passionate about equitable rights and held the president position of the St. Florian’s Brigade (formerly the Women’s Committee) for over 15 years. She was instrumental in starting the summer fire camp to empower children and introduce them to opportunities in the fire services. Chief Uhlhorn also volunteers as a Harford County CASA (Court-appointed special advocate) standing up for the rights of abused and neglected children in her community.

Tisha Wolford

Fire Chief Trisha Wolford was sworn in as Chief of Anne Arundel County Fire Department on January 28th, 2019. Wolford started her fire service career in Maryland with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department in January of 2006. Chief Wolford operated as a firefighter/paramedic until her assignment to the Fire Marshal’s Office in 2011. She spent seven months training at the Anne Arundel County Police Academy and was sworn in as a law enforcement officer in May of 2012. She was then assigned to the Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit where she promoted to Lieutenant in 2014. With her law enforcement and paramedic background, Chief Wolford was a part of the Anne Arundel County Tactical Medic program for four years, providing medical attention to the Anne Arundel County Police Quick Response Team. Chief Wolford received her bachelor’s degree from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV in 2000. She is completing her master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Western Governor’s University. She is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy and the IAFC’s Fire Service Executive Development Institute (FSEDI). She holds a CFO and CFM designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE).

Joanne Rund

Baltimore County Council unanimously confirmed Joanne Rund as the county’s first permanently appointed female Fire Chief in May of 2019. Rund has served in a leadership role for 26 of her 32 years of service with Howard County Fire and Rescue where she most recently retired as Assistant Chief. Rund holds numerous certifications in the field of health and safety and is a level 4 certified command officer. She obtained the National Fire Academy’s Advanced Safety Officer Program certification and serves as Associate Faculty at the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute. Also, at the State level, she was Committee Chair for the Maryland Metro Chiefs Life Safety Committee, whose mission is to educate all Maryland EMS providers on the 16 Life Safety Initiatives and reduce the line of duty deaths in the state. At the national level, in 2009 Chief Rund began working with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation where in 2014 she was named Region III Advocate Coordinator and remains actively on their instructor roster, passionately working toward reducing line of duty deaths throughout our nation. In 2006, she was elected to serve her first term as a Director At Large with the Safety Health and Survival Section, where she continues to serve. Since that election, Rund has worked on many initiatives such as the roadmap to Wellness, budget committee, Strategic plan and has served on the election committee which names the candidates that the section promotes for the selection of the IAFC executive board positions. In 2018 Joanne was accepted into the prestigious International Association of Fire Chiefs Fire Service Executive Development Institute Program.

All these women credit hard work, preparation and commitment to achieve these positions. Maryland is proud of the continued training and education they provide to support the mission of the fire service. The MSF A would like to congratulate and recognize these leaders for their accomplishments.