Toledo's next fire chief may be a woman

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo will soon have a new fire chief.

Luis Santiago will retire at the beginning of August and there's a good chance  his replacement  could be a woman.

It's Assistant Chief Karen Marquardt. She's been on the force since 1996.

"If the mayor would consider me I would be honored for that" she said.

And it would make her one of only a handful of women fire chiefs in the country.

Chief Marquardt said she's been courted by other departments. But she's a lifelong Toledoan; graduated from Whitmer High School and has no plans of working anywhere else.

"I want boys and girls and young men and young women to see women. I don't want there to be a stigma that only men do this job," said Marquadt.

If appointed Chief Marquardt said she'd make changes in department software, staffing and records.

Everything she's learned comes from Chief Santiago, the  man she may replace and someone she considers her number one mentor.

"To his credit he's let me in on everything operational from budget, special ops to purchasing a new rig. I think that's important to have," she said.

Chief Marquardt added that she'll support anyone who takes over the department, a department she said is on the brink of growing and becoming more progressive.

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.