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Alameda Honors Female First Responders

The City of Alameda honored women serving as first responders at a reception in the Alameda Theatre Thursday night, March 28. The event was held as part of Women’s History Month.

Alameda Post - three female first responders in uniform sit on stage. One smiles and talks into a microphone.
Alameda County Sheriff Yesenia Sanchez speaks at the Alameda Theatre. Photo Maurice Ramirez.

Certificates issued by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who represents the 12th District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives, were presented to female public servants at the reception, although not all were present to receive them. A total of 45 certificates were issued to women who serve in law enforcement, as firefighters, dispatchers, technicians, and others whose job is to respond to emergencies in Alameda.

A discussion panel featured female law enforcement and firefighters, who talked about their experiences as women in their fields. One of the panel guests was Yesenia Sanchez, the first woman to be elected Alameda County Sheriff. Sanchez said she was honored to be a guest on the discussion panel.

“It doesn’t really hit you until you come up here, and you do these panels, and you do these speaking events where you’re imparting your experiences and what you had as challenges coming up in male-dominated fields,” Sanchez said.

Alameda Post - at the Alameda Theatre, audience members listen as female first responders on stage talk
Photo Maurice Ramirez.

Firefighter Katherine Remy, one of two female firefighters currently active with the Alameda Fire Department, also was a guest on the panel. She spoke about her participation in recruitment efforts and community engagement to encourage young women who might be interested in fire service.

“We’re just excited to be the face of women in the service and hopefully act as role models for young women, young girls, and even our peers to say, ‘Hey, you could do this too, if you want,’” Remy said. “There’s no pressure to do it, but if this is what you want, if this is in your heart, you can do it.”

Other guests on the panel included Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Misty Carausu, Alameda Police Sergeant Alyssa Schlitt, and Alameda Firefighter Mackenzie Whitton.

Alameda Post - the female first responder panel onstage at the City of Alameda event
Photo Maurice Ramirez.

Alameda Public Information Officer Sarah Henry said she was inspired to put together the reception after seeing Carausu featured on the Netflix true crime series American Nightmare.

“Watching that show, American Nightmare, was very inspiring,” Henry said. “That actually prompted this idea that we should be celebrating more women who are first responders and women in our community that are first responders.” Henry said that this event was not only about honoring female first responders, but also a way to help share efforts in recruiting more women in public safety and the fire department.

Alameda Police Chief Nishant Joshi has joined the national 30×30 initiative, which aims to have women represent 30% of police officers by the year 2030. “We’re honoring women in public safety because even though the numbers are increasing, there is more work to be done,” Joshi said.

Vicky Nguyen is a contributing writer for the Alameda Post. Contact her via [email protected]. Her writing is collected at

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