Washington’s first female firefighter dies

Washington’s first female firefighter dies
City of Bellevue Fire Department
Photo courtesy of: City of Bellevue Fire Department

Washington state’s first female firefighter has died.

The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that retired Bellevue Fire Department Capt. Jeanette Woldseth died in February from complications due to cancer. She was 64.

Woldseth first became a volunteer firefighter in Bellevue, but she had her sights on becoming a full-time firefighter with the department. In 1977, Bellevue hired the then-23-year-old, who became the first paid female firefighter in the state.

Woldseth was promoted to lieutenant in 1981 and then captain in 1985. She retired in 2002.

Friends and colleagues say she was meticulous and confident as a firefighter and detailed as a captain.

A memorial in her honor is scheduled for Saturday in Bellevue when those who knew Capt. Woldseth will share their stories.