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Posted on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

Ann Arbor Fire Department hires first female assistant fire chief in 123-year history

By Julie Baker

The Ann Arbor Fire Department has promoted Ellen Taylor to assistant fire chief — a milestone in that she'll be the first woman to serve in the position in the department's 123-year history.


Ellen Taylor

Taylor has served in the department for 17 years. She recently served as a fire prevention inspector, and prior to that was a lieutenant for five years.

“Ellen’s history with this department, her knowledge, professionalism, and her rapport with our other fire personnel are among the qualities which make her the ideal candidate for this role,” said Ann Arbor Fire Chief Chuck Hubbard said in a news release. “I am pleased to have her leadership in place as we continue to provide the highest quality of service and protection to the Ann Arbor community.”

Taylor replaces current Assistant Fire Chief Steve Lowe, who has decided to return to his previous rank of battalion chief.



Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

Maybe you'll keep this one since you delete every other factual post... You guys delete 80% of the comments from people telling what she's really all about. Like asking for a reference and someone saying: no comment. The FD knows the real deal and even she does.

Tony Dearing

Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

A number of comments have been removed because of personal attacks. Comments in reply were removed because the original comments are no longer displaying.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

Tony, Why did those comments stay up so long; all afternoon and night? Do the Report Abuse buttons work when we click on them? Nothing happens when you click on the Report Abuse button now, as it did before this new format.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

I think its time for change in the AAFD and the new leadership appears to be on the right track. Lets hold off the sentencing until the trial is over. New people, new ideas, new direction, I Love it !!!

Bertha Venation

Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

Congratulations, Ellen!! I just feel bad that you may one day have to deal with his nibs and City Council.


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

Has anyone asked why Steve Lowe decided to step down from assistant chief to battalion chief after less than a year?


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 11:44 p.m.

Cause it's a crappy job.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

good question.


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

First female assistant fire chief in the department's history, and all we get is a regurgitated press release? How about an interview or a profile piece? I'd love to see more in depth reporting on this. I think Ellen Taylor deserves as much.

Top Cat

Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Promotions are always good news. However being an Assistant Fire Chief can't be half as much fun as being the rear wheelman on a ladder truck.


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

No tillers in Ann Arbor anyway..

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 5:59 p.m.

what does an assistant fire chief do?


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

She assists the Chief in Managing the Fire Department obviously.


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

She process the TPS reports.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 6:36 p.m.

If the assistant manages the fire department what does the chief do?


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

Manages the Fire Department


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.



Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

Congratulations to her. I'm sure this is a recognition of her good service over the last 17 years.

Person of Emet

Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

Veracity..Good Question. I contacted AAFD and was told that AAFD has a contract regarding salary/benefits for all positions with the exception of the Fire Chief. It doesn't matter what the gender happens to be, it pays the same salary and benefits.


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

Seems like a good choice. However, I worry that the City administration may use this appointment to save money if she is offered a salary of eighty-percent of what her male counterpart would earn. I understand that such a salary differential between men and women is not uncommon in our society.


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

Admittedly I wasn't being entirely serious, but now that I think about it, the city probably could find a qualified person to do the job for free. There are plenty of firefighters who have been laid off - some entire fire departments have been eliminated in Michigan recently. Someone would take this job for free just to be able to put it on their resume in hopes of getting a paying job with another city down the line. It's all part of the race to the bottom - and just because its possible doesn't mean it's right, or that it's smart policy in the long run.


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

I guess I'll have to make this more clear, I thought I was conversing with thinking people here. I meant qualified person.


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 6:36 p.m.

I'm 100% sure that the city could find "someone" who would be happy to do the job for free . . . but would you really want that person to be in charge?


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

So your going to bring sexism into the bargaining process? If she gets a bad deal thats on her, if she gets a good deal that is also on her. The city should pay no more then they have to regardless of her sex. If she would do the job for $50K and be happy, why would you pay her $150K