While Sharp is new to the role of fire chief, she is a well-known face in the community and lives just down the road from headquarters, Station 1.

The Northwest Fire Protection District has named a new fire chief. Annette Sharp took over the helm of the district in early October 2017.

Sharp will held the all-volunteer department after many years of service as emergency medical responder and first responder for medical and fire emergencies, according to a press release from district board of directors.

Sharp has already expanded training for firefighters, has begun to upgrade equipment and facilities and has initiatives underway to lower the ISO (Insurance Services Organization) rating for the community, all to improve the level of protective services in the district.

“Enthusiastic approaches and a can-do attitude are the hallmarks of Sharp’s leadership in the district, and we approach a new year with optimistic anticipation for the positive changes that are underway,” the press release stated. “Having a female in the position of chief, while quite uncommon, is not totally unheard of in a society where challenges to the traditional gender roles have been underway for many decades.”

The NWFPD, headquartered in Climax Springs, serves residents in 175 square miles in parts of three counties - Camden, Benton and Hickory. With a current roster of approximately 30 men and women volunteers, the department responds to an average of 260 calls for service annually. In addition to traffic accidents, medical calls and structure fire and wildfire suppression, the district does boat dock inspections.

While Sharp is new to the role of fire chief, she is a well-known face in the community and lives just down the road from headquarters, Station 1.

Her three children are all graduates of Climax Springs R-IV. Sharp’s husband William is a station chief and two of her children presently serve as NWFPD firefighters.

Attempts to reach Sharp by phone on Monday were unsuccessful.