Missoula Fire Department promotes first female fire captain

MISSOULA - The Missoula Fire Department is promoting their first ever female fire captain.

After nearly 20 years with the fire department, Captain Charlene Bundy is the first woman to hold this rank in the department's history.

Bundy started fighting fires as a volunteer in her hometown of Frenchtown. When she was just starting out there were very few women in the fire service but Bundy says this challenge inspired her.

“Each goal I set and achieved made me want to pursue the next,” she said. “And now, here I am achieving a title that I will forever be proud of.”

Bundy says this promotion was a dream come true and not only is she eager to get started, but she's eager to set an example for her three daughters, other young girls and women across the state that they can be successful at whatever they want to do.

“Being promoted to Captain here at the Missoula Fire Department is a dream come true,” Bundy said. “And being able to be the first woman to carry that title is an amazing honor. I’m proud to be paving a road of success for the future women of Missoula Fire as well as young women in pursuit of an amazing career path in our great city.”

Missoula Fire Department captains must be competent in their knowledge and abilities in all aspects of firefighting, as well as in current policy and procedures. One of the most critical attributes of the captains is the ability to maintain situational awareness on a scene and to lead a coordinated effort. They must think on their feet under extreme conditions. They also must be positive role models who continually pursue better ways to do their jobs.

“The pursuit to do better is what drives our department,” said Fire Chief Jeff Brandt. “Charlene has continued throughout her career at MFD to positively represent the mission of the Missoula Fire Department.”

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

“This promotion means that I can now take a leadership role in the best fire department in this great state, working with the finest firefighters in Montana,” Bundy said. “This I am forever grateful for.”

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