CFD gets female battalion chief

Now it's Battalion Chief Janice M. Bruner.

Friday was an historic day for Columbus Fire & Emergency Medical Services, a day when 19 dedicated workers were promoted, chief of whom were Bruner, a 19-year veteran, and Glen Bahde, 14 years with the department. They have become two of nine battalion chiefs in a department with 384 employees serving the people of Columbus.

For history's sake, on Friday Bruner became the first woman and first African-American woman to fill the shoes of battalion chief.

What she remembers best about this career is her first day on the job.

"I was working a house fire in a two-story building," she remembers. "An officer took me from the front door to the back door and I saw the smoke and felt the heat."

It would have a profound effect on her, helping her to realize the dedication of firefighters and the risk they take as they battle blazes to help save lives and property.

She also remembers her mother, who raised a large family after her father died when she was a child.

"She was a very strong woman who got behind us doing what was right," she said. "She really concentrated on the girls. She said we have to take care of ourselves, that if we do that, we can also do it for others."