Today marks the end of an amazing 28+ year career for City of Yakima Fire Department Shift Commander Jennifer Norton. Jennifer started her career December 1, 1993 as an entry level Firefighter. She promoted to Fire Lieutenant in 2000.
During her time at Yakima Fire Department she helped start a “Juvenile Fire Setters” program working to teach children the dangers of playing with fire. She also completed a Bachelors Degree in Fire Science from University of Maryland.
In 2002, Jennifer became a commissioned Fire Investigator and began work as the dedicated handler for accelerant detection K9 “Wesley”, an ATF arson dog. Together she and Wesley were a regional resource for Fire investigations throughout the Northwest and worked for 8 years on the Arson Task Force. Their work was instrumental to many fire investigations and contributed in a measurable reduction in arson fires and led to many convictions.
Jennifer promoted to Fire Captain in 2006 where she served 2 years as Yakima Fire Training Division Captain. Here she oversaw all training for the Yakima Fire Department.
In 2014, Jennifer promoted to Fire Shift Commander where she served until her retirement June 21, 2022. Throughout her career Jennifer earned the respect of those she served with and became known as a respected leader and mentor.
While her career accomplishments are impressive, what’s more impressive is the mark she is leaving on the people she led and worked with. Her calmness, kindness, and positivity helped to lesson the tensions and stresses associated with emergency services. Her leadership style put her people first, and found the balance between keeping the job fun, and still getting the job done right. Congratulations Jennifer on an amazing career of service, and best of luck with all future adventure. You will be missed!
Congratulations Jen, enjoy you well deserved retirement. I don't take a hydrant without remembering a lesson you taught me early in probation when you hurled my hydrant wrench across the drill ground because I set it on the ground. Your words were " you just put your wrench down in the snow, its lost, now what? 😂😂😂
One of the best…. Thank You for the friendship and leadership you’ve always given me. Enjoy the retirement that you earned!
So many memories... I remember when our boys were young and wanted to go see Jennifer at the firehouse, then it was Jennifer and Wesley... Thank you for always taking the time to make an impression on young minds... You will be missed!
Today, crews tested out a new product that might be added to our trucks. Crews trained with equipment to assist with stabilization for heavy commercial vehicles and/or building collapse (think of earthquakes).
These tools can be quickly mobilized and provides protection for victims being crushed and the first responders providing rescue.
This is just another way firefighters train vigorously for the citizens of Yakima!