Charleston crossed the country and the gender line to find its next fire chief.

Karen E. Brack, deputy chief in Eugene, Ore., was named as the new head of the department today.

She’s expected to start Aug. 1, and will make $137,000 a year.

Mayor Joe Riley made the announcement in City Hall Chambers.

“I’m confident I have found the very best person in America to become the chief,” he said. Brack, 55, has more than 29 years of experience in the fire service, including the past four years during which she served as deputy chief in Oregon.

She succeeds Thomas Carr, who retired in March because of complications from his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease.