Assistant Chief Dawn Sumter was hired in October 1995. As a woman, she had to work hard to prove herself to her peers, but she has indeed gained the respect of those who have worked under her during her career.
A former Local 1365 member, Sumter has risen to the rank of assistant chief through her commitment and dedication to the Orlando Fire Department. She has always been an advocate for her peers and has a vested interest in the outcome of their careers.
Sumter recently graduated from the National Fire Academy with an Executive Fire Officer Certificate – a certificate that only the very top of their class attain. Leading up to her graduation, Sumter made a request of the current fire chief to redesign the current Class A uniform for women and was given permission to take on this long-overdue project.
Chief Sumter approached the current uniform vendor and worked with its representative to design a completely new Class A Uniform tailored specifically to women in the fire service. Sumter was focused and determined to create a uniform that would encompass her drive to showcase the Orlando Fire Department and represent women in the fire service in a professional manner.
Sumter’s innovative design was entered in the North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers competition. Founded in 1933, this association is composed of manufacturers, distributors and associated companies that have a common bond in the future of the uniform industry.
Chief Sumter’s design was awarded first place for “Public Safety Best Dressed Uniform Award” for a First Responder Agency (> 500 personnel) and was recognized at the association’s annual conference in Nashville.