Murray among Hall’s ‘heroic women’

Naugatuck Fire Chief Ellen Murray will be honored as one of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame’s ‘heroic women’ on Nov. 9. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck Fire Chief Ellen Murray will be one of 10 “heroic women” honored by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame next week.

Murray, who became the first female career firefighter in Connecticut, will be recognized during the hall’s 24th annual Induction Ceremony and Celebration Nov. 9 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

Three women will be inducted into the hall, while Murray and nine other women are honored.

“It is a great honor to be in the company of such accomplished women from around the state,” Murray said.

Murray, 58, started her career as a firefighter in 1982 with the Stratford Fire Department.

While at the Stratford Fire Department, Murray received much recognition, including numerous unit citations, a commendation for bravery, the Department Community Service Award, the Stratford “Mission Accomplished Award,” and the Department Medal of Merit. She was named Stratford’s Firefighter of the Year in 2009.

Naugatuck hired Murray to be deputy fire chief in 2011. The borough promoted her to chief last year.

She sits on the board of directors for the Connecticut Firefighters Charitable Foundation, and is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Connecticut Career Fire Chiefs, and the Waterbury Area Fire Chiefs. She was recently invited to attend the first Woman Fire Chiefs Council sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame Executive Director Kathryn Gloor said each year the hall picks a theme to select who it honors and inducts. This year’s theme is women in uniform.

Gloor said the hall chose Murray because she has had an amazing career, being the first female career firefighter to rise to the level of chief.

“She is incredibly well respected,” Gloor said.

Gloor said the women inducted and honored by the hall are positive role models for other women and girls.

“We want women and girls to wake up and say I can do it. … If they are not the first woman to accomplish that, I want them to know the name of the woman who did,” Gloor said.

Murray said her advice for any woman who wants to be a firefighter is to prepare for the difficult physical and written tests that come with the entrance exam and to know they can do it.

“They first need to know that it is a fantastic career choice and that women are more than capable of becoming firefighters,” Murray said.

The Republican-American contributed to this article.