She’s reported from inside a burning building, from the flight deck of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, and aboard a submarine in the Persian Gulf, was the first reporter in FBI history to participate in New Agent classes at the FBI Academy, and received astronaut training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. And along the way, KYW Newsradio’s Michelle Durham took her listeners with her. For one special assignment, Michelle underwent firefighter training at the Philadelphia Fire Academy. Michelle was the first woman the fire department ever assigned to ride Engine 50 in North Philadelphia, where she helped put out fires. Her series, “A Firefighter’s Journey,” won eight awards, including two Edward R. Murrow awards. In the years since graduation, Michelle has continued her training, branching into Special Operations with FEMA’s Pennsylvania Task Force One.
Then, in 2007, Durham’s series “Delaware Valley on the Front Lines” took her to the Persian Gulf, where she interviewed service personnel from our area aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, in the desert, on an oil drilling platform off the Iran-Iraq coast, and aboard a submarine. “Delaware Valley on the Front Lines” won four awards including an Edward R. Murrow and the Pennsylvania Associated Press’ coveted “Sandy Starobin” Award. In 2008, following some FBI special agent training, Michelle was embedded with Philadelphia’s bank robbery squad for “Michelle Durham’s FBI Diary.” While at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in 2009, Michelle learned how to lift off and land the Space Shuttle, as well as how to dock it to the International Space Station, for “Inside NASA — The Delaware Valley Takes Flight.” Her NASA series won several awards, including a Murrow. Ask Michelle what she loves most about her job and she’ll tell you it is the ability to share knowledge while spreading a little joy along the way! During her Persian Gulf coverage she brought in 5,000 cheesesteaks (fresh from South Philly) and 5,000 Tastykakes for her USS Enterprise shipmates to enjoy. It was the first time the US Navy ever allowed an outsider to feed an entire ship.