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Cover Story - First Female Capt. in W.Va.


Captain Jan Rader talks about what it's like to sit in her very unique position and the challenge to recruit more women to the field.

Lt. Jan Rader takes a light approach to a lot of things, but one thing she takes very seriously is firefighting.

Jan is a Master Training Officer for the State of West Virginia. That means when it comes to sharing her love, respect and discipline for firefighting she's one of the best.

Firefighters are often our first responders in a variety of emergency situations, providing immediate help in our greatest time of need. But, in our region, that firefighter is often a man.

In Huntington, out of 107 professional firefighters, only one is a woman. Now, Lieutenant Jan Rader is getting a promotion to captain.

For the last twelve years, Jan has made a career of putting out the flames. Now, her latest promotion is actually blazing a trail. Lt. Rader, the only woman on the Huntington Fire Department, is about to be Captain Rader, the first woman promoted to such a rank in West Virginia history!

Jan has the support and even adoration of her fellow firefighters, a status she's worked hard for.

Ironically, Lt. Rader got interested in firefighting while living in the Washington D.C. area. There, she routinely saw women firefighters and took note.

She then moved back home to Huntington, and pursued firefighting where she joined a department with only one other woman. That woman quit only two years later and Jan has carried the torch ever since.


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