Photo via: ARLNow.com
Tiffanye Wesley recently made history after being selected as Arlington, Virginia’s southern battalion chief within the Arlington Fire Department. The new appointment makes her the first Black woman to hold the position in both the county of Arlington and the entire Northern Virginia region of the state.
Wesley has served in the Arlington Fire Department for just under 24 years. She pursued becoming a firefighter having never stepped foot into a burning building nor having any expectations of what would be in store. She had never known any firefighters and even failed the physical fitness test twice before eventually passing and being cleared to proceed with her training.
Prior to receiving her recent promotion, Wesley served as commander of the Crystal City fire station which is one of Arlington's largest and busiest stations. In 2016, she served as an interim battalion chief during a transition in leadership in her department. The experience allowed her to interact with other stations within the Arlington battalions and begin to create rapport and trust that undoubtedly paved the way for her to move into the battalion chief role permanently.
The Arlington Fire Department consists of a northern and a southern battalion that both include five stations. Wesley will serve as the southern battalion chief that coordinates operations between the five southern battalion stations and partnering with agencies in other areas of Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax. Her collaborative leadership style rooted in mutual respect and transparency will guide her transition into her new role.
Many have reached out to Chief Wesley to offer words of encouragement and congratulations upon learning of her new appointment. While she reports that all of the new attention she's been getting has been a bit overwhelming, she is also very grateful and humbled by all of the support.
She shared with Arlington’s ARLNow, "My promotion was not just for me, it's for everyone who has watched me, who has been sitting back and passed over and doubted their own self, whose doubted it would ever happen. It's all for those people. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Don't give up."
Congratulations, Battalion Chief Wesley! Keep blazing your own trail.