Reda Riddle-Bigler – 208 First Responder Award Recipient

Captain/Paramedic, Phoenix Fire Department

Reda Riddle-Bigler was born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in Mesa, Arizona until the age of 11. In 1983, the Riddle family moved North to start their family restaurant business. Thirty-four years later, they still own and operate Valle Luna Mexican Restaurants and Cantinas.

Reda’s hopes and dreams growing up were centered around athletics. She had dreams of running track in the Olympics and playing volleyball professionally. Reda played volleyball and ran track at the collegiate level, and soon thereafter became the Head Volleyball Coach at Deer Valley High School and an assistant track coach.

Looking back on her adult life, Reda is most proud of the hundreds of student/athletes she has coached and mentored. It warms her heart to listen to their stories of how she made an impact on them, no matter how big or small.

Her career has brought many proud moments. She was one of the founding members of the Valley Women’s Firefighter Society. She describes this work as “swimming upstream” because of the resistance that was met along the way. However, the program succeeds today because of dedicated female firefighters who persevered. Another proud moment in her career was her promotion to Captain. She served as a Public Information Officer for twenty-one months for the Phoenix Fire Department, and currently works as a Captain/Paramedic on Engine 42 and has held this rank for six years.

Reda believes the mission of the YWCA is exactly what being a coach, mentor, and leader is all about. The mission to her is about creating future leaders and empowering them towards success.

Some of her accomplishments include: 2008 induction to the Western New Mexico University Hall of Fame for women’s volleyball, a member of the International Association of Firefighters Disaster Relief Peer Support Team deployed to Florida for Hurricane Irma, All American Volleyball Honors in 1993, and three time 5A Northwest Region Volleyball Coach of the Year.

Reda’s greatest challenge was continuously overcoming obstacles in her career and personal life. These obstacles range from persevering over what was said to be a career ending back injury to promotions within a male dominated profession to a desire to start a family while pursuing her career goals only to face the challenge of having a child born with Trisomy 21, also known as Down Syndrome.

Her message to young women is: be so good they can’t ignore you. We determine our future not our circumstances. If it doesn’t challenge you, then it doesn’t change you, and if it were easy everyone would do it!

Reda has been married to Rob since 2005 and has an 11-year-old daughter, Alyssa and twin 9-year-old boys, Chase and Brody.

The YWCA is honored to present the 2018 First Responder Award to Reda Riddle-Bigler.