Fort Wayne, Ind. – Mayor Tom Henry today announced that Amy Biggs will be Fort Wayne's next Fire Chief. A 17-year veteran of the Fire Department, Biggs currently serves as Assistant Chief, a position she was promoted to in 2008.
"Chief Biggs is highly qualified and brings strong leadership skills to the department," said Mayor Tom Henry. "She has done a great job as Assistant Chief of Human Relations and has not only used her organizational and personal skills well in the department, but in the many community activities she's involved in. Amy has a tremendous level of professionalism and I have no doubt she will serve our community well."
As head of the second largest fire department in Indiana, Biggs will oversee fire protection for the 110 square miles of the City of Fort Wayne and manage a department of more than 380 firefighters, posted at 18 fire stations. The Fort Wayne Fire Department supports neighboring communities as well, with its special operations team, which includes hazardous materials, water rescue recovery and special operations rescue teams.
"It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead the Fort Wayne Fire Department as Chief. I have had the privilege to work beside the dedicated men and women of the Fort Wayne Fire Department for 17 years, providing an important and vital service to our community," said Fort Wayne Fire Chief-elect, Amy Biggs. "I know firsthand that our firefighters take their responsibility seriously and have great pride in how they serve the residents of Fort Wayne. I pledge to continue that exceptional service and to move forward with training, apparatus and technology improvements, and efficiency with our day-to-day operations."
Chief Biggs joined the Fort Wayne Fire Department as a firefighter in 1995. In 1999, she was promoted to Captain of the Fire Prevention Bureau and became Captain of the Operations Division in 2001, where she served for seven years, until being appointed to the position of Assistant Chief. Chief Biggs has had specialty training as a certified diver as a member of the water rescue team and as a technician for the hazardous materials team.
Chief Biggs replaces retiring Fire Chief, Pete Kelly, who will leave his post this summer.
"I have had the opportunity and privilege to work alongside Amy for many years. There is no doubt that she will continue to lead this department with the integrity that the Fort Wayne Fire Department and community expects and deserves," Chief Kelly said.
Biggs is a Fort Wayne native who graduated from Bishop Luers High School and attended Purdue University.
Biggs traces her decision to become a firefighter back to an incident near her Fort Wayne home, where she watched a team of firefighters working to extinguish a blaze and keep it from spreading to another house.
"The dedication, hard work and team effort inspired me," Biggs said. "As a result of this experience, I reflected upon my purpose in life and believed that I too could make a difference."
Biggs said she is honored to be able to serve the residents of Fort Wayne and to work with members of the Fire Department: "Since the moment I began my career I fell in love with the fire department, its people, the organization and relationships with the citizens we serve every day."
"What I enjoy most about being a firefighter is that every day brings a unique challenge," Biggs said. "It keeps you motivated and encourages you to constantly learn."
The Fort Wayne Fire Department is 173 years old and Chief Biggs is the first woman to lead the department. Nationwide, fewer than 40 career Fire Chiefs are women.