Female Fire Official Makes History a Second Time


A first today for a female in the City of Biloxi. Battalion Chief Michelle Crowley started her first day in the new role. Michelle is now the highest ranking woman in department history.
She’s been battling fires in Biloxi for more than 23 years, started out as a recruit fire fighter back in 1993 and breaking the glass ceiling ever since. Michelle Crowley made history as the Biloxi Fire Department’s first female captain in 2001. This year, she takes it to a new level as the department’s first female battalion chief in her new role as the battalion chief of occupational safety and health. “I don’t look at it as more or less me being the first female and making history, but more or less that I’ve been given the opportunity to grow and I think that any female that would enter this fire service could see that our department is all about contributing and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a male or female,” said Crowley.
Putting her life on the line battling fires with her mostly male counterparts over the past two decades, Crowley’s life and career are marked by hard work and determination. “They say I’m on an equal playing field, but I think in my mind that I had to achieve more. I think it was something that was a personal goal of mine and I am a bit of an overachiever. It goes along with the territory,” said Crowley.
Almost finished with her bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health, Crowley has been climbing the ladder to this position for the past three years, helping with project management and audits, rounding up more than $1.7 million in grants for the department. Assistant Fire Chief Mark Dronet said, “She has got several, several grants that has helped the department out financially, helped the city out financially. She’s been a great asset to us and I believe she is going to do a great job in the position that she just moved into.”
“The future of this position is going to catapult us into a better way to achieve health and safety in the fire service. I think it’s going to make our department stronger, more efficient, and it’s going to make sure that we have the proper equipment so that our firefighters can do the best job they can for our community,” said Crowley.