City of Cape Town firefighter, Arlene Wehr, has become the first female Head of Operations in District West.
She is the first woman to fill a position at this level since the Fire and Rescue Service was established in 1845.
As the operations head for District West, she will be responsible for the following fire stations: Cape Town (Roeland Street), Sea Point, Salt River, Epping, Brooklyn, Hout Bay, Constantia and Wynberg.
Wehr joined the Fire and Rescue Service in 1996.
She is originally from Mitchell’s Plain, and says she gave up a job in the private sector to pursue her passion to serve others.
But Wehr says it wasn’t easy.”This is a male-dominant environment and breaking through this glass ceiling for hundreds of years it wasn’t easy. There was lots of times where I applied for the position, but didn’t get it. But I went back again. Not pushing to be the first of everything, but just the achievement to get there. To show other females they can make a career in the service.”