Mother-daughter fire captains make history in Kansas City 

Angela Allen’s role as a current Kansas City, MO Local 42 fire captain, and Lisa Malloy’s tenure as a retired captain, speak volumes about the strength of family ties and the legacy of service they’ve built together.

May 11 • 2024

As the saying goes, “Life is a journey,” and the memories we pick up along the way make it worthwhile. 

For Angela Allen, a fire captain and dedicated member of Kansas City, MO Local 42, one childhood memory stands out. 

“I remember when my mother took me to ‘Take your daughter to work day.’ I was 12-years-old, and she worked at a busy fire station,” Allen said. “Experiencing all the calls with her was exhilarating and completely new to me. It opened my eyes to the diverse opportunities within this profession, beyond just fighting fires.” 

Allen and her mother, a retired Local 42 fire captain, spent decades putting out fires, while breaking down barriers as the first mother-daughter fire captains in Kansas City. 

“When I joined, there were probably 20 women in the fire department, and we were the extreme minority,” said Lisa Malloy.  

Malloy, who began her career in the fire service in 1991 and retired in 2019, paved the way for her daughter, who joined the department in May 2010 and advanced to the rank of captain in 2022. 

“I was still in the fire service when she joined, and I was so proud of her,” said Malloy. “You hear a lot of stories about fathers and sons, but there were never any mother and daughters, so it is really something special.”  

Allen’s decision to pursue firefighting was deeply rooted in her childhood experiences, where she witnessed her mother’s bravery and commitment firsthand. Despite initial doubts about her own resilience, Angela overcame obstacles and answered the call to join the fire service. 

“It took some time for me to tell myself, ‘Ok, you are tough enough, you can do this,’ and so that’s when I applied,” said Allen. 

You hear a lot of stories about fathers and sons, but there were never any mother and daughters, so it is really something special.

Lisa Malloy, retired fire captain, kansas city, mo local 42

While there have been a few challenges – including ill-fitting gear – both women say there have been strides as more women join the ranks.  

“In my short career, there has been considerable progress,” said Allen. “My mom, throughout her career, mostly wore men’s clothing since there were no options fitted for women. Now, in our department, we have some women’s clothing, showing progress as more women join the fire service.” 

Both women now share the importance of representation and encouragement for aspiring female fire fighters. 

“I have heard some people say they felt scared or not prepared, but I always tell them that we are trained to do our job,” said Allen. “With the proper training and the proper safety, it is not as scary or unobtainable as it may sound or look on paper.” 

“I miss it every day,” said Malloy. “Women need to know there is room for them in the fire service.”