img of alameda county womens hall of famers

Debra Pryor was inducted into the Non-Traditional Careers category in 2013.

My Story

By the time she was named Berkeley's first-ever woman Fire Chief in 2004, Debra Pryor was well accustomed to setting new standards for women in a field that has always been dominated by men. In 1985, Debra's athletic ability and innate leadership skills helped her to become the first female firefighter in the history of her hometown of Berkeley. She would become the city's first female paramedic and the first woman to hold the titles of lieutenant, captain, assistant chief, deputy chief and fire chief. She also was the first African American woman Fire Chief in California history. These achievements speak volumes, but more important is the inspiration Debra has provided to other women determined to pursue careers that for many years have been off limits to them.