Photo by Heather Middleton
By Mehgaan Jones
Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services has named a long-time employee as its new interim Chief of Technology, and Public Affairs.
Jacque Feilke, 43, has been appointed to the position, according to Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Interim Chief Jeff Hood. She began her duties on Monday, and was appointed last Thursday, officials said.
"She has proven herself through the years..." said Hood. "She has developed credibility as a physically courageous firefighter, a compassionate caregiver, and is a proven leader," Hood said. "We need someone like that for the position. Chief Feilke has served honorably for more than 24 years," said Hood.
Feilke joined the agency in October 1986, after graduating from Riverdale High School. She was the first certified female firefighter in the history of Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services, said Assistant Chief Landry Merkison, a public information officer for Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services.
"Chief Feilke has been a role model for both male and female firefighters," Interim Chief Hood said. "She has proven time and time again that gender has little to do with courage and ability," he added.
"It was a challenge...definitely a physical challenge," Feilke said of her career with the agency.
Feilke was formerly the fire captain on-line for the agency, which included operational tasks such as fire calls, supervision and scheduling. She said her new duties will include building a web site for Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services, and making the public aware of upcoming events and other information about the agency. She said she wants to make the public aware of all the positive things the department does.
"We've got some great ideas," Feilke said. "There will be a newsletter about what is going on in the fire department.
"I am really excited," Feilke said. "Its going to be different than what I was doing before."
Interim Chief Hood said Feilke is occupying the position of Chief of Technology and Public Affairs, on a temporary basis. "She was appointed and will [serve] until the position is filled."
Hood did not disclose information about when the permanent position is expected to be filled.