‘I promise not to let you down’: Tampa officials swear in city’s first female fire chief

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – History was made in Tampa Friday afternoon!

City Clerk Shirley Foxx-Knowles administered the Oath of Office to Barbara Tripp, officially making the 23-year fire rescue veteran the city’s first-ever female fire chief.

Mayor Jane Castor selected Tripp to serve as interim fire chief on Nov. 18, but recently appointed the Tampa native to lead the city’s fire rescue department permanently.

“It is an honor for me to stand here today to see such a fine person sworn in as our fire chief. Barbara has done an incredible job,” Castor said. “Those of you who know her… you know that there isn’t anyone that is more trustworthy, honest, and hardworking than Barbara Tripp.”

Tampa City Council members confirmed the mayor’s appointment in a 6-0 vote on June 24.

During her swearing-in ceremony, the Hillsborough High School alumna took the time to thank not only her family and friends but extended her gratitude to her fellow fire rescue members.

“To the 762 men and women of Tampa Fire Rescue, sworn and civilian, I got your back. I haven’t forgotten where I’ve come from. I will work with you and alongside you as your leader to continue to be the best fire department,” she said.

Tripp also thanked Castor and the city council “for entrusting me with their beautiful city and community.”

“I promise not to let you down,” she said.

Additionally, she reassured Tampa residents “I’m here to serve and assist while protecting your life and property.”

Tripp is the department’s 22nd fire chief.

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