Women’s History Month “Public Safety Trailblazers” Honored

Debra Pryor, Keith Carson and Teresa Deloach Reed

Alameda County Supervisor this week honored three East Bay leaders in the field of public safety who are the first women to hold their current positions. The awardees at the Wednesday evening event at the woman-owned Vessel Gallery in Oakland were Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County District Attorney; Debra Pryor, Chief of the Berkeley Fire Department; and Teresa Deloach Reed, Chief of the Oakland Fire Department. “I am humbled by the courage and perseverance of these three women, who have made both local and national history,” Carson said.  “They have chosen not only to serve the public but also to protect our communities.” O’Malley is the first woman to hold the position of District Attorney in Alameda County, making her the top law enforcement officer in the county. Appointed in 2009 by the Board of Supervisors, she won election in 2010. Throughout 25 years as a prosecutor, O’Malley has gained a reputation as a strong advocate on behalf of victims of crime and a nationally recognized expert on the advancement of victim’s rights. She led the creation of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, a one-stop shop for victims of family violence, sexual assault, elder abuse and child abuse.  The center has become a national model for efficient, comprehensive and collaborative delivery of victims’ services. Pryor was the first woman hired by the Berkeley Fire Department more than 19 years ago, becoming the department’s first female fire chief in 2004.  She oversees an organization of more than 140 women and men who respond to 12,000 calls a year. She is one of only three female fire chiefs in California, the second African American fire chief in the country, and one of just 21 female fire chiefs nationwide. Deloach Reed is the first woman to be named chief in the 142-year history of the Oakland Fire Department.  She also is the first African-American woman to lead a large metropolitan fire department. The event was co-hosted by Black Women Organized for Political Action, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women – Oakland Bay Area Chapter, and the National Women’s Political Caucus – Alameda North.
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