W.Va. fire chief makes TIME’s top 100 influential people list

By FireRescue1 Staff

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A fire chief who has gained national attention for being a leader in the fight against the opioid crisis was named one of TIME’s Top 100 Influential People of 2018.

WSAZ reported that Huntington Fire Department Chief Jan Rader, who was recently featured in the Netflix documentary “Heroin(e),” said she is “honored” to be recognized as a “pioneer” for raising awareness about opioids.

“I think that this is a result of the community coming together to work diligently on a difficult social issue,” Chief Rader said.

Sen. Joe Manchin, who took Chief Rader as his guest to President Trump’s State of the Union address, wrote a tribute to the chief that was included in her TIME feature.

“Huntington, W.Va., Fire Chief Jan Rader has spent her career running toward fires and training the next generation of firefighters to do the same. And right now in West Virginia, our biggest fire is the opioid epidemic,” Manchin wrote. “Like many local heroes, Rader is on the front lines combating this epidemic every day. Nevertheless, her strength and compassion never waver. She has saved countless lives and has been unrelenting in her commitment to help people struggling with substance-use disorders return to lead productive lives. As the first woman to lead a professional fire department in West Virginia, she broke down barriers for young women across our state and continues to serve as the type of leader West Virginia and America need right now. If every city had a chief like Jan Rader, our country would be a better place.”

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