First Black woman nominated as Milwaukee’s assistant fire chief
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By TheGrio Staff
Chief Sharon Purifoy‐Smoots has been a firefighter since 2003
Deputy Fire Chief Sharon Purifoy-Smoots is on track to become the highest-ranking Black female in the history of the Milwaukee Fire Department.
Aaron Lipski, Milwaukee’s fire chief, nominated Purifoy-Smoots on Friday to become the department’s assistant chief. The department held the announcement at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society.
“So now we get a chance to see women like me. We get to see women of color, and it lets those little girls out there that never gave firefighting a thought, now they have a thought — I can do it, she’s doing it,” Purifoy-Smoots told WDJT-TV.
Purifoy-Smoots joined the department as a firefighter in 2003, working her way up to battalion chief by 2019.
The National Fire Protection Association statistics show women make up just 4% of the roughly 358,000 career firefighters working today.
Keep reading about this historic appointment on TheGrio.
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