Carol L. Stiles, Hartford’s first female deputy fire chief, is retiring. Her last day is Monday, Chief Carlos Huertas said.
Stiles has been with the department for more than 27 years. In 2007, the Jacksonville, Fla., native, who grew up in Winsted and Enfield, earned the historic distinction of being the first female deputy chief in the fire department’s 218-year history.
At the time, she was one of only 11 female firefighters in a 305-member department.
“She’s a credit to the department and a pathfinder as far as women in the fire service,” Huertas said Monday. “She’s a dedicated, firefighter pioneer. We’re going to deeply miss her expertise.”
Former Fire Chief Charles A. Teale Sr. told The Courant in 2007 that Stiles exhibited a “degree of excellence under the most trying circumstances.”
During her time with the department, Stiles gained a reputation as a dependable firefighter and a certified paramedic who wasn’t afraid to answer the tough calls.
“I’m hoping that her promotion will serve as an incentive to other young women” who might want to become firefighters in Hartford, Teale said at the time.
Stiles is one of three deputy fire chiefs retiring from the department this summer. Deputy Chief Kevin Walsh will retire July 12; Deputy Chief Samuel Goicochea will retire on Tuesday.