It’s Woman’s History Month, and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is honoring female firefighters.  Topinka is honoring 14 female firefighters, including two of the state’s female fire chiefs. “You are trailblazers and you make us all proud,” Topinka said at a ceremony in Chicago. “You have brought change to the culture of fire service and your efforts and sacrifice have cleared a path for future generations of female fire service leaders.”

Click Here for Summary

Topinka noted that women have historically struggled to break into the ranks of firefighting. The U.S. Department of Labor reports 13,700 female fire professionals nationally in 2011, representing 4.5 percent of all firefighters.

The honorees:

  • Buffalo Grove Battalion Chief Wendy Durkin
  • East Dubuque Capt. Kelly Peacock
  • Elburn and Countryside Lt. Sheri Nielsen
  • Elburn and Countryside Lt. Lisa Schopp
  • Monroe Township Capt. Michelle Jaeger
  • Montgomery and Countryside Lt. Andrea Montgomery
  • Newport Township Lt. Kelly Kirschhoffer
  • North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban
  • Richmond Township Capt. Paula Gallas
  • Shannon Deputy Chief Amanda Klinefelter
  • Spring Grove Battalion Chief Julie Tobiasz
  • Tri-State Fire Protection District Chief Michelle Gibson
  • Woodstock Fire-Rescue District Capt. Karen Bush

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/