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Blazing a trail

Audra Carter has become the Hoboken Fire Department's first female battalion chief

Audra Carter has been with the Hoboken Fire Department for nearly 20 years and has served as a fire captain since 2011.

Audra Carter became the Hoboken Fire Department’s  first female battalion chief in a promotional ceremony held on May 28.

Battalion Chief Carter is an 18-year veteran of the HFD, having served as a firefighter for ten years and as a fire captain since 2011.

Throughout her career, she displayed expertise in modern fire suppression and fire prevention principles, marine rescue, emergency preparedness, and emergency medical services.

As a fire captain, Carter was responsible for leading and participating in emergency responses, including fires, rescues, accidents, medical situations, and other hazardous conditions. She was also responsible for ensuring calls for service were responded to in a safe and timely manner.

Battalion Chief Carter graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2000 with a B.S. in Business Administration. She graduated from the Bergen County Fire Academy in 2003 and achieved a “U.S. of America Merchant Marine Credential” from the Nautical School of New York.

She holds certification in CPR & First Aid; Incident Management System (I-100, I-200, I-300); IS-700 National Incident Management System; Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations; and Hazardous Materials Incident Analysis.

Making herstory

“Congratulations to Battalion Chief Carter for her historical promotion,” said Amy Hanifan, president of Women in Fire. “This serves as a testament to the positive progression of the department to serve their community in an inclusive manner. These earned opportunities always make me so proud of the individual who earned the role; there is a great amount of preparation and effort that goes into the process. Best of luck Chief Carter!”

“This is a historic and proud moment for the city and its residents because it elevates a woman to the highest ranks of the Fire Department,” said Councilwoman Emily Jabbour. “As the mother of two young daughters, I hope Battalion Chief Carter’s promotion will send a message to all girls and women that if you work hard and are qualified, there are no barriers toward service at the highest levels of the Hoboken Fire Department.”

Mayor Ravi Bhalla will conduct the promotional ceremony. He will also promote Joshua Piñeiro, a 13-year veteran, from Firefighter to Fire Captain.

The promotions follow the recent retirement of Battalion Chief William Rozmester, who served for 26 years.

“I’m extremely proud to promote Audra to Battalion Chief in the Hoboken Fire Department,” Bhalla said. “Not only is Battalion Chief Carter supremely qualified for the position given her 18 years serving as a Firefighter and Fire Captain, she also has the tenacity to keep improving in her profession to serve as a shining example to others. I can think of no better person to serve as a trailblazer in the Hoboken Fire Department as the first ever female Battalion Chief and send my congratulations to Audra and her colleagues on this historic day. I also extend my sincere congratulations to Fire Captain Piñeiro on the well-deserved promotion to Fire Captain and thank Battalion Chief Rozmester for his 26 years of public service to our residents.”

As a firefighter, Piñeiro served as a fire instructor, special rope rescue technician, became a member of the International Association of Arson Investigators, and was previously honored as the Puerto Rican Firefighter of the Year, among several other honors. Piñeiro was an accomplished baseball player, serving as the captain of the St. Peter’s College baseball team, and was an inductee to the 2011 Hoboken High School Hall of Fame. He graduated from St. Peter’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in 2004, and from Hoboken High School in 1999.

“Congratulations to our newly promoted fire officers: Battalion Chief Carter will be assigned as Training Officer and Captain Pineiro will be Health and Safety Officer,” said Hoboken Fire Chief Brian Crimmins. “Congratulations also to Battalion Chief Rozmester who recently retired after 26 years of dedicated service to our community.”

“I also want to congratulate Josh Piñeiro on achieving the rank of Fire Captain, and send my best wishes to him and his family on this occasion,” said Councilwoman Jabbour.

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.

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