HomeCoverINTERNATIONAL‘I simply wished to be part of the most effective’: Detroit firefighter...

‘I simply wished to be part of the most effective’: Detroit firefighter breaks obstacles

DETROOIT – Jackie Lam joined the Detroit Fireplace Division a number of years in the past due to the division’s popularity of being the most effective of the most effective. And with out even understanding it, Lam ended up doing much more than simply combating fires as she as a substitute paved the best way for future generations to observe in her footsteps.

It’s one factor to be a feminine firefighter. There aren’t lots of them, however what a couple of feminine Asian American firefighter? That’s one thing the DFD hadn’t seen in its 162-year historical past till Jackie Lam got here alongside.

Lam has been with the Detroit Fireplace Division for 2 and a half years, transferring from California to begin her profession.

“So the Detroit Fireplace Division has a popularity of being probably the greatest hearth departments in the entire world,” stated Lam. “So I wished to be part of it. Most different departments don’t get to struggle as aggressively because the Detroit Fireplace Division, and I simply wished to be a part of the most effective.”


However to hitch the most effective, you’ve acquired to be the most effective and be capable to sustain. Though most firefighters are male, Lang knew she might go all of the checks to earn her badge.

“I didn’t realize it was an possibility for the longest time,” Lam stated. “I assumed it was simply the man’s job. However I believe it’s a kind of issues the place it’s such as you informed me I can’t do one thing. I’m going to attempt my finest to do it. So I attempted my finest, and I acquired it.”

“There’s all the time been a contest,” stated Detroit Fireplace Division Lt. Richard Halsell. “However she purchased the subsequent stage competitors as a result of she was doing issues that guys who’s six foot you already know, 200 kilos are doing she’s doing it so it’s like oh, ‘she will do it, I can do it.’”

It wasn’t till she was on the job sooner or later {that a} co-worker identified that Lam was the primary feminine Asian American firefighter the DFD had ever seen.

“He was like, ‘you do understand that, proper,’” Lam stated. “I used to be like, ‘no, I didn’t know.’”


Lam says she loves representing her Asian heritage throughout the division and hopes younger girls and Asian girls look as much as her and know that they’ll do that job.

“I imply, Metro Detroit has a big Asian inhabitants, and I need these females to know that they’ll, you already know, do that job too,” Lam stated. “And I’ve a daughter myself, and I need her to know that if she works laborious and prepares for the job like she might do something she needs to.”

Lt. Halsell says he already sees that Lam is that function mannequin for younger girls. He has two daughters who’re all the time speaking about what she is as much as. So Lam is already altering the notion of what a Detroit firefighter seems like.

Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.



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