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Diane Schweizer To Become Philadelphia's First Female Deputy Fire Commissioner

By Syma Chowdhry

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A trailblazer makes her way up the Fire Department chain.

Mayor Michael Nutter announced two promotions.

Deputy Commissioner Derrick Sawyer, who has been with the department for 29 years, will be the new Fire Commissioner, while Diane Schweizer will become the city's first female Deputy Fire Commissioner.

She moves up after being Chief of Emergency Medical Services Operations.

"I was the first female Battalion Chief now I am the first female Deputy Commissioner, it's just shows if you do hard work and you strive and push yourself you can do anything. Break those glass ceilings," newly appointed Deputy Commissioner Diane Schweizer said.

Schweizer says even though the fire department is predominately male, she knows how to hold her own.

"It's not about whether you are male or female, it's about getting the job done," she said.

The Mayor says it's important to seek diverse candidates.

"There's always a first somewhere but you have to take that step, fortunately for us we have highly qualified people," Nutter said.

The newly appointed Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner are looking forward to starting their new positions.

"Going forward I think it is important to leaders and give them an opportunity to grow and I think that diversity which help us teach new heights," newly appointed Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said.

Derrick Sawyer
Mayor Michael Nutter announces promotion of Deputy Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer as the new Fire Commissioner. (credit: Syma Chowdhry/CBS3)

"Who knows what is in store for me, you never know," Schweizer said.

Schweizer starts training for her new role Thursday.

Sawyer will be promoted to Fire Commissioner June 14, the a day after Commissioner Ayers retires.



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