Assistant Fire Chief Ashanti Gray found her career in saving lives through a happy accident. In an interview for the position of Communications Specialist with the City of Las Vegas, she was given a simulation assessment for taking 9-1-1 calls. She was taken aback by the screaming on the other end of the phone, but finished the test and ended up with the highest score of all applicants. Thus began what Gray calls the career of her dreams.
“I am overwhelmed sometimes that my job is to make sure that I take care of those that take care of the community,” Gray said. “I literally wake up to make sure the heroes of the world have everything that they need to save lives—what better job is there in the world!” One of the life-saving procedures that Gray has prioritized is training dispatchers in dispatch-certified CPR. The national average of cardiac arrest patients leaving the hospital neurologically intact is 35%. For patients under Gray’s jurisdiction, the average is 73%.
In a field that has been traditionally dominated by men, Gray brings new perspectives to the force as a Black woman. She is innovative in her approach to patient care as well as employee management. She is committed to diversifying the fire department and helping those around her find new opportunities and break barriers to improve the future of the industry.
Gray’s motto is “be better.” As a visionary leader, she shares her passion for improvement with everyone around her. Her leadership inspires and encourages—and quite literally saves lives.