Jaramillo becomes first woman to be appointed AFR fire chief

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Mayor Tim Keller appointed Emily Jaramillo as chief of Albuquerque Fire Rescue.

Jaramillo was officially promoted Tuesday, becoming the first woman to lead the state’s largest fire rescue in its 123-year history.

28 other firefighters were also promoted to various positions including driver, lieutenant, captain, and battalion chief during the ceremony.

Jaramillo has been with Albuquerque Fire Rescue since 2005 and has worked in a variety of positions as a firefighter and paramedic within AFR prior to becoming the deputy chief of Emergency Services in 2018. In this role, she worked with her team and oversaw Emergency Medical Services, the HEART team, AFR Records, Quality Assurance, Pharmacy, EMS Training Divisions, and Firefighter Health and Safety. She also covered Field Operations and Human Resources for AFR during a prolonged search to fill these positions in Fire Administration. 

“There is something sacred about being the first female fire chief, and I want to ensure I am not the last. From the moment that I set foot in the Fire Academy, I had countless mentors that helped encourage and guide me to better the department and achieve my own professional goals,” Jaramillo said. “I would not be here today without all the people in my life both personally and professionally who believed in me and helped me navigate a career in a field with less than 5% women.”

“Emily Jaramillo is a proven leader within AFR. She has demonstrated skill, integrity and an unparalleled knowledge of the department and its values,” Keller said. “Albuquerque stands behind Chief Jaramillo as she takes on this new command, makes history in our city, and continues to guide AFR on its course of excellence.” 

Jaramillo obtained a bachelor’s degree in English and Education from Luther College in 1999 and is currently completing a master’s degree in Public Health Policy at New Mexico State University.  She volunteers time in the community as a youth basketball coach and she is a mother to two young children, Avielle and Isaiah.