First African American Female Officer

Fallen Firefighter Ardythe Hope becomes the first African American female officer with the Wilmington Fire Department. Chief Anthony Goode posthumously promoted Hope to the rank of Lieutenant at her memorial service today, Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Before the permotion, an emotional Chief Goode awarded Ardythe Hope the departments top two awards.  Holding back tears, Goode used his authority to award Hope the WFD Medal of Honor and the  Individual Valor Commendation. Goode told the audience of family members and coworkers that Hope’s badge number, 208, and her new Lieutenant badge number, L36, would both be retired.


Memorial services for Senior Firefighter Ardythe Hope, who died from injuries suffered battling a blaze. The funeral marks the end of Hope’s 60-day battle for life, She was hospitalized for her injuries following the blaze. The 48-year-old firefighter had burns on more than 70 percent of her body and was in critical condition for the entirety of her entire time at the hospital.