DES MOINES, Iowa -- It was busy and historic day at the Des Moines Fire Department as a couple of long time employees received well-deserved promotions.
Amy Montgomery is now the first woman promoted to rank of District Fire Chief in the department's history.
Percy Coleman is now the first African American to be promoted to Assistant Fire Chief in Des Moines.
“You know from 20 years ago until now. He really will be a great assistant Chief for the department. Great ambassador for the city and he’s a good man,” said Montgomery. “You look at her personality and the way she conducts herself, day to day. Being a line captain it’s not an easy task and she handle it very well. Being promoted to District Chief for Montgomery is going to be an easy transition,” said Coleman.
Over the last 20 years each has knocked down quite a few doors fighting fires. Today instead of kicking them down they were opening them for future generations.
“Kids will see Chief Montgomery and Chief Coleman and they will say ‘I can do that. I can see how I belong there. I want to be there.’ That’s an outcome we want."
“I think I would tell them to be very patient. Gain experience and study the fire service,” said Montgomery.
Coleman echoes those pieces of advice.
“Stay positive, it’s all about character. Do the right thing at all times. That’s the one piece of advice I can give them,” said Coleman.