SANTA CLARA (KRON) — Suwanna L. Kerdkaew was named the chief of the Santa Clara County Fire Department Tuesday, making her the first female fire chief in the department’s 75-year history. Kerdkaew had been the Acting Assistant Chief and assumed her position as chief on Wednesday.

“I am honored and humbled to be appointed to this position,” Kerdkaew said. “I am committed to excellence and progressive decision making as Santa Clara County Fire Department continues to address the evolving challenges that are faced by our county and state.”

Kerdkaew was hired in 2002 and served as firefighter, engineer, paramedic, captain, battalion chief, deputy chief and assistant chief. Wednesday, she became the 10th chief in the history of the department.

“I am happy to appoint Suwanna Kerdkaew as the new Santa Clara County Fire Chief; her extensive experience within the Department made her an ideal candidate for the role,” said Mike Wasserman, the president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.