(CBS DETROIT)-For Senior Fire Engine Operator Teresa Singleton, she’s got boots on the ground bright and early at engine 40 on Detroit’s westside.

“All of our equipment is functional all of our tools are here,” said Teresa Singleton, Senior Fire Engine Operator

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Singleton’s first and main priority is to make sure latter 17 is safe for her guys when they head out on calls, and for the next 24 hours plus of her shift, she’s there in case any maintenance issues occur.

“Of course, I believe Engineers are very important, the water is their lifeline when they’re in fires as well if we’re on the platform the aerial operations in order for them to vent and extinguish the hot gases,” Singleton said.

Starting out 25 years ago as a Firefighter Singleton has moved far in the ranks, as well making history.
She’s one of 3 women in the city to hold her job and the most senior, she’s also the only woman working at her firehouse, which has its perks.

“I’ve made my space as personable as possible, there are times I need a break from the guys I can step off into my own little world,” Singleton said about her private room she has at the firehouse.

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Although she can escape from them when she feels the need, the guys have the upmost respect for Singleton and all of her accomplishments, from her prior position as Vice President of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association, local 344, to advocating on a National level for fire fighters across the country.

“She works tirelessly, even when where here at the fire house responding to all types of emergencies she’s in her office or her room on her laptop,” said John Ellis, a Lieutenant with the Detroit Fire Department,

Singleton continues to break barriers, right in the middle of the pandemic in 2020 she became the first female President of an organization of firefighters in the city that’s doing great things in the community.

“We hosted a coat drive where we gave out over 6000 coats to children in the neighborhood, Easter dress drive where we gave out over 5000 dresses for little girls,” Singleton said.

Also the purpose of the Phoenix of the Fire Department organization is to ensure diversity and inclusion in the department, and since its existence in 1967, Singleton is proud to be the first woman President, but says she won’t be the last.

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