Sisters welcomes new firefighter
Last updated 4/18/2023 at 6:15pm
April 6 was a historic day for the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District (SCSFD). The District welcomed its first female firefighter to the full-time staff in nearly 17 years, and only the second woman to hold the position in the District's history.
Firefighter/Paramedic Rachel Ulm joins the ranks of career firefighters with SCSFD after serving for three-and-a-half years as a resident volunteer with the District. Ulm started her journey in Sisters while a freshman in college at COCC in 2019, and has earned associates' degrees in fire science and EMS, as well as earning multiple structural and wildfire qualifications. She also served as the resident volunteer lieutenant, helping administrative staff with the day-to-day management of the resident volunteer program.
During her time as lieutenant, Ulm served as trainer and mentor for newer members, especially other women just entering the service. Many times, women need to develop different techniques to accomplish the physically demanding tasks required to be a firefighter.
"I love working with other women to help them be successful in this business!" said Ulm.
Beth Mitchell was the first woman to serve as a career firefighter in Sisters. Mitchell left SCSFD in 2006 to pursue a career with Redmond Fire and Rescue, where she serves as a captain today. Mitchell returned to SCSFD to help as an evaluator during the testing process that ultimately resulted in Ulm's appointment.
Mitchell said, "This is awesome news! I am so happy for Rachel. She will be a great addition to the team!"
The fire service is in Ulm's blood. Prior to joining SCSFD, Ulm served for four years as a cadet and volunteer firefighter with the Coburg Fire District, alongside her father, Deputy Chief Benton Ulm.
"Rachel has been an incredible asset to our organization," said SCSFD Deputy Chief Tim Craig. "We have had the opportunity to watch her develop new skills, demonstrate her leadership ability, and show her motivation to excel in a business that is typically male dominated. Firefighter Ulm has a very bright future ahead of her!"