Toledo Fire Department Chief Luis Santiago stands with Lolita Cooper, left, and Joseph Mazur, right, after the were promoted from private to lieutenant with the Toledo Fire & Rescue in City Council Chambers today.
Today, the Toledo Fire Department promoted, for the first time, a black woman.
Lolita Cooper, a 13-year veteran of the department, was promoted from private to lieutenant during the 10 a.m. ceremony in Toledo City Council chambers.
“I take it (the promotion) with the utmost importance,” Lt. Cooper said today after the promotions. “And being the first African-American woman to be promoted, I take with the weightiest responsibility.”
The lieutenant said she hopes to be a good role model for all girls.
Also promoted today, from private to lieutenant, was Joseph Mazur. Christopher Burns was promoted from lieutenant to Captain.
Lieutenant Mazur said he would never have made it through studying for the promotions test if it were not for his “awesome, beautiful wife.” He also said that his mother, an Italian woman, and his mother-in-law, an Irish woman, helped with many prayers.
“I had heavy hitters in the prayer department,” he said.
While studying for the captains test, now-Capt. Burns would shut himself inside his bedroom looking for a quiet place to read. His young son would often peer inside and then try to drag out his dad so they could play. Needing an hour more to study, the youngster would bring his toys into the bedroom and play next to his father, Captain Burns said.
“He just wanted to be with his dad,” the captain said. He then added that with the studying and promotions behind him, the two could play.