FORT WAYNE – Amy Biggs didn’t get much time to become adjusted to her new position.
Fort Wayne’s new fire chief spent her first hours in her position helping handle thousands of emergency calls on Friday responding to the massive storm that swept through Fort Wayne.
It didn’t allow me much time for transition, Biggs said. It was straight into work.
Biggs was formally sworn into her position as chief on Monday by Clerk Sandy Kennedy in front of dozens of friends and family.
Mayor Tom Henry last month announced Biggs would replace retiring Chief Pete Kelly, who moved up his departure from Aug. 3 to June 29. While the city previously noted Biggs will be the first female chief in the fire department’s 173-year history, Henry stressed that gender played no role in his decision.
It wasn’t because she was a woman, Henry said. It was because she was the best.
Biggs’ first official week will be busy as well, as the department prepares for the annual Fourth of July fireworks during a drought that raises fire concerns. Consumer fireworks have been banned throughout Allen County, but the shows at IPFW and at the Fort Wayne TinCaps game will proceed.
The fire department will work to ensure those shows are safe, but Biggs said there will be a concerted effort to keep residents from bringing their own fireworks to the IPFW show – something that happens frequently during normal years.
Biggs, 42, joined the fire department in 1995 as a firefighter. In 1999 she was promoted to captain of the fire prevention bureau and became captain of the operations division in 2001. She served there for seven years before being promoted to assistant chief, where she has overseen the department’s human resources and internal affairs.
Before joining the department, the Fort Wayne native graduated from Bishop Luers High School and attended Purdue University.