Brian Hamacher

Davie Appointing First Female Fire Chief in Broward

The Town of Davie will officially appoint Broward County's first female fire chief at a meeting Wednesday night.

Julie Downey will take over the reigns of the fire rescue department at the town council meeting, which will include a badge pinning and transfer of command ceremony.

"I don't think of it as the first female, I just want to do the best I can for the organization, male or female," Downey told NBC 6.

Downey has served as battalion chief and assistant fire chief in Davie for the past 12 years and has 34 years of fire rescue service. She said she has several ideas for how to move the department forward.

"Safe sleep initiative for infants, drowning prevention, fire prevention, Stop the Bleed initiative," she said.

Stop the Bleed is her idea for active shooter situations and involves pouches that contain items to control bleeding until first responders arrive. They're already in every AED box in Davie buildings.

The idea gained Downey national attention and recognition from the president.

"Chief Downey is overwhelmingly supported and recognized for her credentials, command presence, equitable leadership style, technological advancements, and interpersonal skills," town administrator Richard Lemack said in a statement last month. "She is a respected leader in the fire service and has been instrumental in advancing our department to have state of the art equipment, training and apparatus incorporating cost savings."

Downey's husband also runs Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, making them the first ever husband and wife fire chiefs in Florida.

"I think it's awesome, we've been together a long time," Chief Dave Downey said. "I think what impresses me the most is her ability to identify the problem, to be able to come up with a solution and not keep it to yourself."

The two met on the job in Sunrise, and now have two daughters.

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