Fire Chief: Today's Fire Service - View the video

Debra Amesqua

Debra Amesqua
Retired Fire Chief
Madison Fire Department

325 W. Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53703


Career Clusters / Help Topics:

  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security

Debra H. Amesqua was named Chief of the City of Madison Fire Department on January 15, 1996 and retired in 2012. She was the ninth Chief in the Department’s history and the first woman to hold the position. At the time of her appointment, she was one of only seven women Chiefs among the 32,000 Fire Departments in the Country. Chief Amesqua received the distinction of being named Fire Chief of the Year for 2011 by Fire Chief Magazine, a national publication. Chief Amesqua is nationally recognized for her work on senior-level management training for fire service women and breaking down barriers for people of color. Amesqua has developed and presented a number of workshops and authored several professional papers on subjects related to executive officer career development, and building a learning organization in the fire service. Chief Amesqua has a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Business & Management from Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has completed the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Training Program as well as the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government

A career in fire service is one that can take many paths. Learn firsthand from one of the nation’s leading fire chiefs how the profession is evolving and what is driving changes in the fire service. Madison Fire Chief Debra Amesqua (retired 2012) discusses what is shaping the fire departments of today and what may lie ahead for the new recruits of tomorrow. (Running Time 24:07)