Friday was a big day at the Missoula City Fire Department as Charlene Bundy was officially introduced as the first female captain in the city’s history.

Bundy, a 19 year veteran of the Missoula Fire Department spoke about her first full day as the first female captain.

“It’s an invigorating feeling actually,” said Bundy. “The sense of responsibility is definitely heavier, but it’s also a bigger sense of reward because now not only my actions but my decisions for myself and my crew members kind of hand on my shoulders.”

Bundy described how her duties have changed from her former rank to now being a captain.

“Instead of being a firefighter or an engineer, I’m now leading the two firefighters that I’m working with for the day, so I’m obviously in charge of the fire station and all the responsibilities and decisions made in that venue, as well as any emergency calls that our engine responds to throughout the day,” she said.

Bundy said her fellow firefighters, both male and female, fully support her promotion to captain.

“The fire department becomes a pretty tight-knit family when you work here over the years and you go through many of life and professional ups and downs and I’ve built a lot of relationships,” she said. “Those guys are all really supporting of my promotion and have been very verbally congratulatory and excited for me.”

As captain, Bundy will lead an engine company and run a fire station. Fire Department captains rotate stations every 16 weeks.

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