Portland Fire & Rescue
Nomination from Elizabeth Thompson, Station 2A, Assistant Public Information Officer, Portland Fire & Rescue:
FF Concepcion-Sestric has excelled as a firefighter in various aspects, driven by her commitment to public service and the betterment of Portland Fire and Rescue.
She was hired in 1999 and became a Trainer from 2006-2012 with the mindset to provide fair, equitable and positive learning environment while leading by example with a strong work ethic, solid technical skills and positive attitude. With concern for the safety of PF&R members, FF Concepcion-Sestric served on the Apparatus Committee, working towards better equipment.
FF Concepcion-Sestric voluntarily stepped forward to produce the 2012-13 PF&R yearbook, which took countless hours, working within a deadline and budget, to create a heartfelt memoir of the Bureau.
She has long been passionate about the welfare, health and fitness of herself and others, serving as a Peer Fitness Trainer and Spin Instructor. Irene has a fierce commitment to be her best self in every way and engaging her peers to be their best selves. This is evidenced by her habit of both creating healthy, safe and challenging workouts every shift and leading her crew through those workouts to achieve excellence.
FF Concepcion-Sestric became a CPR Instructor to help community members acquire the skills and knowledge to save lives.
FF Concepcion-Sestric has been on the Portland Metro Fire Camp organizing board since its inception in 2009. The goal of the three-day Portland Metro Fire Camp is to empower and build confidence in young women through firefighting skills in areas of team building, physical fitness and problem solving. The growth of Camp has nearly tripled since the first year, with young women hired as paid and volunteer firefighters with PF&R and other Metro areas. FF Concepcion-Sestric has passionately been involved in the planning, fundraising, logistics and outreach of this unique camp. As only one of two women of color in PF&R, and the only female Asian-American, FF Concepcion-Sestric knows it is imperative that young women see examples of firefighters that look like themselves in the work force, so it is a rule not an exception.
FF Concepcion-Sestric is passionate about advancing PF&R onto a progressive path. She has been a catalyst in the recruitment of diverse individuals and females by way of her dedication to the Portland Metro Fire Camp and her tireless efforts in her current position as PF&R Recruiter.
In this role, FF Concepcion-Sestric spent countless hours quantifying the Trainee list, created a formal mentoring program and continuously advocating for a balanced, fair and equitable testing process. She has made numerous connections with educators, business partners, government agency representatives in effort to expand the hiring pool to include diverse candidates. FF Concepcion-Sestric believes in the future of a progressive PF&R with meaningful contributions from members of all walks of life to better serve the citizens of Portland.
FF Concepcion-Sestric has volunteered her time to educating Neighborhood Emergency Teams and provided CPR Instruction to communities. She understands the privileges afforded to members of PF&R and gives back to those in need with donations to community food banks and volunteer time with the Tebow Foundation.
FF Concepcion-Sestric put her work ethic and determination to the test while committing to the Lieutenant promotional process, succeeding to be in the top 5 on the candidate list. She has persisted in the face of big challenges with composure and grit to effect change for the betterment of her fellow members and community.
Nomination from Caryn Brooks:
She's an amazing recruit and equity strategist who works tirelessly to make sure everyone has access to a career in the fire service. Also, one of the founders of the Fire Camp for Young Women.
Nomination from Becky Lamboley:
Irene is working to undo systems of oppression with deep historical roots throughout our bureau. Her ability to navigate the strict command structure from the bottom of the latter, and while also managing her own intersectionality and lived experience is something countless have benefited from and truly something I marvel at on a daily basis.