Christine Manzi wears many hats but her latest one is a first, both for her and the Town of Babylon.

Manzi, 37, chief of the West Babylon Fire Department, is the town’s first female fire chief. She was elected to the position in December and formally installed in March.

Only a handful of fire departments on Long Island have had a female chief. While there are other female officers in Babylon Town — such as in the Wyandanch-Wheatley Heights Ambulance Corp. — Manzi is the first female to hold the rank of chief for a fire department.

“It says to women, not only are they important to providing emergency service, but also we’re counting on them to be leaders in the field and Christine paved the way for that,” said Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer.

A wife and mother of two young boys, Manzi works full time as a fourth-grade teacher at Santapogue Elementary School in West Babylon. She also coaches junior varsity girls field hockey at the high school.

But it’s the firehouse that is her second home. Even now as chief, when she is not out on calls, she is at the firehouse at least four nights a week and stops by every day to check on things.

This year will be Manzi’s 21st with the department, but her involvement with firefighting goes back even further.

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Manzi’s father, Garry Mowbray, 59, started volunteering with the Bay Shore Fire Department and it was there that his young daughter began trailing behind her dad.

“I remember him talking about helping people,” she said of those early days.

Manzi became a West Babylon junior firefighter at 14, learning basics such as first aid and at 17 joined the department as a volunteer firefighter with the department’s Truck Company 4.

Mowbray said initially he had concerns for his daughter’s safety.

“But she never backed up, never stepped out,” he said. “She can swing the 60-pound rescue tools around like we do.”

Outgoing Chief Peter McArdle, who has known Manzi since she was 12, said there was never any doubt that the determined young woman could keep up.

“She’s a better firefighter than some of the men,” he said. “She could run circles around some of them.”

Manzi first became a lieutenant for the company, then captain — the first female in the town for both positions, McArdle said. In 2010 she was elected third assistant chief, beginning her ascent to second and then first assistant chief. She was determined to continue to chief of the department.

Manzi now oversees the department’s 180 members. She said more girls are joining the junior firefighters and she is hopeful that having a female chief will inspire young girls to consider firefighting.

“If this makes just one girl step up and realize that she can do it, then I think that I’ve accomplished something,” she said.