Cincinnati Fire Department Lieutenant Falencia Frazier is accustomed to abandoning stereotypes and thinking outside the box.
“Firefighting wasn’t a career option that was apparent to me,” she explained. “Often as women we imagine traditional roles and then stay in them. I decided that wasn’t for me.”
Lt. Frazier’s spirit, experience, and career journey makes her an ideal speaker for this year’s Outstanding Women of Clinton County Luncheon to be held Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the Roberts Centre.
When promoted in 2015, Frazier became only the fourth female lieutenant in the history of the Cincinnati Fire Department (CFD) , the oldest professional fire company in the United States (1853). She’s also the first African-American woman to serve in that rank with CFD.
An 18-year veteran of CFD, Frazier rose through the ranks one painstaking step at a time. In 2000, she began the 20-week training class in preparation for the mandatory entrance exam and subsequent one-year probation period.
Upon successful completion, she became an official firefighter.
Recalling her first active duty call, Falencia said, “It was a 2 a.m. attic fire and I remember thinking, ‘here we go’.”
In her role as lieutenant, Falencia starts with the basics each day.
“I set goals every day, large and small. I try to encourage others to feel safe in saying they don’t know something and make sure we figure it out together.”
She also takes the responsibility for morale very seriously.
“In this job we have to work together. The decisions that are made at a fire affect peoples’ lives.”
Frazier cites hard work as a prerequisite for success. “I didn’t have a weekend off for two years while attending paramedic school and working my way up.”
Her hard work and grit in a male dominated profession has been rewarding.
“I’m honored to be part of the tradition of proud female firefighters with the Cincinnati Fire Department. I hope to inspire young women and girls to consider this career,” she said.
Falencia’s impact has already been felt in her own family. Her twin sister has recently joined the ranks of the Columbus Division of Fire.
Lt. Frazier will share more of her story and perspectives on female leadership at Saturday’s OWCC luncheon.
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