Hail to the (new) chief

The new Chief of the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department, Allison Armstrong, is the first woman to head the department. She has served the department for 21 years, as Lieutenant, Captain, and most recently, Battalion Chief of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Bureau.  A Registered Nurse, a State of Ohio Certified Fire Safety Inspector and Fire Instructor, and a member of the federally deployable Ohio-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (providing medical treatment to those affected by disasters), Armstrong was referred to by  Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, announcing her appointment as “experienced in all facets of operations and shows great leadership and management skills.”

Chief Armstrong has also played ice hockey for the Toledo Fire hockey team since 2000, participating in tournaments and games to raise money for charitable causes.

How long have you lived in the Toledo area?

All of my life – for 42 years. I went to grade school, high school and college in Toledo.

What motivated you to join the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department?

I always wanted to be a Toledo firefighter. My father was a Toledo police officer for 25 years, and my older brother was part of a fire explorer group. So I was exposed to this at a young age and fell in love with the fire service.

My story in one sentence.

I have dealt with a tremendous amount of personal and professional struggles over the last 15 years and, as difficult as those situations were, I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and overcoming those struggles made me the person I am today.

What is your favorite part of Toledo?

I am a huge hockey fan, so I love going to Toledo Walleye games. The atmosphere at the hockey games is amazing.

If you knew you could get away with it, what would you do?

Hmmmm. That’s a tough one because I am a rule follower. I would say that I would take expensive pharmaceuticals and donate them to people in need who can’t afford them.

What song lyric best describes you?

From Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time.” “It’s time to begin, isn’t it? I get a little bit bigger but then I’ll admit, I’m just the same as I was. Now don’t you understand that I’m never changing who I am.”

The best thing I’ve ever eaten in Toledo is

Fowl and Fodder’s Chicken and Waffles

One hidden treasure everyone should visit in Toledo

The Toledo Firefighters Museum at 918 W. Sylvania Ave. This is one of the best fire museums I have ever visited. It has educational props as well as historical artifacts related to the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department.