Mesa Fire and Medical Department hires first woman chief, Mary Cameli

Posted at 2:44 PM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 19:00:48-05

The City of Mesa has hired a new fire chief, a trailblazer for individuals in her department.

Mary Cameli was among the first women firefighters hired by Mesa 33 years ago, and now she is the new chief of the Fire and Medical Department.

She was appointed the interim chief on Oct 4 to replace retired Chief Harry Beck, and her permanent position as chief became official on Thursday.

"Mary has shown tremendous leadership ability, not only in her short time as Interim Chief, but in numerous assignments with the Fire and Medical Department," City Manager Chris Brady said in a news release.  "She has well established relationships with the rank and file members, other City departments and community groups and is dedicated to our mission to serve the community."  

Cameli received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and Physical Education from Southern Utah University, according to Mesa officials. She holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.

"I am extremely honored to have been selected as Chief and I am very grateful to those who have given me this opportunity," Chief Mary Cameli said

Firefighting runs in the Cameli family. Her husband, Mike Cameli, is a retired firefighter from the Tempe Fire Department. Her brother, Gil Damiani, is a retired assistant fire chief for Mesa.