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Jersey City makes history with first female Deputy Fire Chief

Mayor Steven Fulop promotes Constance Zappella to the rank

In a historic decision in Jersey City, Mayor Steven Fulop has nominated Constance Zappella as Deputy Chief of the Fire Department, setting her up in the ranks as the first female to take on this position.

“As the most diverse city in the nation and the largest municipal fire department in the state, we recognized early on that we needed to add more diverse representation throughout all ranks and so I am especially proud to swear in Deputy Chief Zappella as she is a true trailblazer and an inspiration to our youth in Jersey City and beyond,” said Fulop. “Congratulations to all four of our new Deputy Chiefs who have worked very hard over the past two decades to support one another and keep our community safe.”

Zappella, who was born and raised in Jersey City, started her career as the city’s first female firefighter in 2003, at the age of 43.

“I am no longer the young girl who sought to change a century of outdated tradition. I am now humbled and honored to serve as the highest-ranking professional female fire officer in the state and city where I was born and raised,” said Zappella in her newly elected position. “The difference between my success and failure is the network of people I built who supported me throughout my journey.”

Zappella was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief, along with Joseph Altomonte, Loren Hart and Shawn O’Connor, at a City Hall meeting held last week.

Since 2013, Fulop has promoted 16 Deputy Fire Chiefs, 35 Battalion Fire Chiefs and 160 Fire Captains to further strengthen Jersey City’s emergency fire services, according to a press release provided to the Hudson Reporter.

“With a combined total of 80-plus years of service protecting the Jersey City community, we are grateful for all four of our new Deputy Chiefs who have earned today’s promotion,” said Jersey City Fire Chief Steven McGill.

“The more diversity we achieve throughout our ranks, the stronger we become as a fire department overall. Deputy Chief Zappella is a shining example of how hard work and perseverance pays off,” said McGill.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Jordan Coll can be reached at jcoll@hudsonreporter.com.

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