San Francisco Just Swore Its First LGBTQ Fire Chief Into Office

Jeanine Nicholson is also the second woman ever to serve as the city's fire chief.

San Francisco has sworn its first openly LGBTQ fire chief, fire department veteran Jeanine Nicholson, into office.

According to the Bay City News Service, Nicholson, who's worked for the city's fire department for 25 years, was officially welcomed into her new position earlier this week.

She's San Francisco's first ever openly queer fire chief and the second woman in the city's history to serve in the prestigious position.


San Francisco Mayor London Breed looks on while listening to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo speak during the C40 Cities For Climate The Future Is Us kickoff event at San Francisco's City Hall on September 12, 2018. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

In a statement, Nicholson thanked San Francisco Mayor London Breed (pictured above) for the honor, adding that she was "humbled" to have been selected:

I am excited to serve the city in this new capacity. I look forward to ensuring that our department remains prepared to respond to any emergencies facing the city, and to working proactively with other city departments help our homeless population get the care they need.

In her decades of work for the San Francisco Fire Department, Nicholson has made a name for herself as an advocate for cancer prevention among firefighters. In her statement, she also acknowledged that firefighters develop cancer at much higher rates than the general population.

"We understand that we signed up for a dangerous job," she noted. "We love our jobs. It's just that now, we are more likely to die from cancer than anything else."

Nicholson's appointment comes almost a year after Sergeant Tony Montoya, a city cop of more than two decades, became the first openly gay person to lead San Francisco's police union.

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