EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An NMSU graduate student made history this past month as she was named Albuquerque’s first female fire chief.

Emily Jaramillo was initially a teacher but changed career paths as she was inspired by a local firefighter who spoke about the fire service in one of her classes.

Jaramillo then enrolled into the Albuquerque Fire Rescue Training Academy and began her career. As Jaramillo moved up through the ranks at the fire department, she was also raising two young children as a single mother, and also pursuing a master’s degree at New Mexico State University.

Jaramillo began her tenure as the chief of Albuquerque Fire Rescue, which makes her the first woman to lead the agency and be a part of its 123-year-old history.

Emily Jaramillo is expected to graduate in December. Afterward, her plan is to remain at Albuquerque Fire Rescue to continue her mission to diversify its ranks until retiring in 2025.

During retirement, Jaramillo hopes to use her education and experience in fire and emergency services in other work-related fields.