One Peoria's first female firefighters retires

By WEEK Producer

November 16, 2012 Updated Nov 16, 2012 at 10:56 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- The Peoria Fire Department is losing a great asset and a large part of its history. After 29 years of service in the department, Division Chief Melanie Anderson is retiring.

During her tenure she worked as a suppression firefighter for 19 years, was a training officer and a battalion chief of special operations.

In the early 1980's she was one of the first two female firefighters hired on the Peoria Fire Department.

She said since then, she has had a career of firsts, "I've been the first female fire chief battalion chief, first female division chief in Peoria Fire Department history."

Anderson's retirement leaves the Peoria Fire Department with only two female firefighters.

Anderson said she looks forward to relaxing and possibly moving somewhere it doesn't snow.

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