As Deputy Fire Chief, Brandy Williams represents city, helps people on their worst day
The following story is featured in the June issue of Madison Living Magazine. For information about how to find a complimentary copy of Madison Living or to access a digital version, go to www.madisonlivingmagazine.com.
MADISON – In the late 1980s, Brandy Williams accepted a job that has appealed to her since that day. Even as a young teenager, she had wanted to enter the profession.
Williams works in the role of Deputy Chief in Madison Fire and Rescue Department.
As Deputy Chief for the Madison firefighters, Williams is involved with the department’s management, supervision of employees, coordination of work routines and staff, evaluation of firefighters’ job performances and planning for major divisions and functions within the fire department.
Currently, those divisions and functions include training, community risk reduction, logistics, administration, fleet management and their hiring process. “As a Deputy Chief, I assume the duties of the fire chief in his absence,” Williams said.
“I have worked at Madison Fire & Rescue for my entire career,” she said. “I began my career here in 1998, and I have spent the last six years in my current role of Deputy Chief.”
With her work, Williams is involved with several different professional groups in varying capacities. She serves as President of North Alabama Fire Chiefs Association, which in turn places her on the Executive Board for the Alabama Fire Chiefs Association.
“I was nominated by the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs as their representative on the Alabama Firefighters Personnel Standards and Education Commission. I serve as one of seven commissioners on this board. I had to be confirmed by the Alabama Senate before serving for this four-year term,” Williams said.
The standards and education commission establishes and approves regulations and bylaws, sets minimum standards for firefighter certification and ensures the efficient operation of Alabama Fire College. “The commission meets on a quarterly basis in Tuscaloosa at the Alabama Fire College,” Williams said.
The Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs nominated Williams for the commissioner position on the Alabama Firefighters Personnel Standards and Education Commission. “I am the first woman to serve on the commission. I am honored to serve and represent the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs in this capacity,” she said.
“I just happen to be the first woman to serve in this capacity. It’s an honor to be selected and trusted to represent this group,” Williams said.
Williams grew up going to visit her uncle at the fire station in Huntsville. “I watched a neighbor’s house burn when I was about 13 and that further intrigued my interest to be a firefighter,” she said.
“Once I turned 18 years old, I became a volunteer firefighter in my community to make sure that was what I wanted to do, and I have not looked back,” Williams said. “There is a lot to be said for responding to an emergency and helping someone when they are having their worst day.”
Williams enjoys the variety of challenges that come with her job as Deputy Chief. She appreciates “the ability to affect change and make our department better for the members that work here, as well as the community.”
Fortunately, and opposed to many people in today’s workforce, Williams finds few situations or demands that she dislikes about her job. “I would have to say days where there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done and work continues to pile up” obviously generates stress to perform her responsibilities well . . . but she perseveres.
When she goes home at night after a day at the fire station, she can sit down, relax and sometimes realize that she had experienced a really good day. Williams is satisfied when “feeling like the work that I completed that day made a difference in our department, community or the fire service.”
Away from work, Williams enjoys leaving the confines of the office or house. Summer is her favorite season, so she looks forward to being outdoors and traveling.