Longest-serving female firefighter retires from Milwaukee Fire Department

Posted at 5:27 PM, Dec 21, 2016

The longest-serving woman in Milwaukee Fire Department history hung up her helmet for the final time. Hugs and handshakes filled the fire department headquarters Wednesday night as crews said goodbye to Lt. Linda Mattrisch.

"I feel so fortunate, so lucky to have done this job, it’s been 33 years,” said Mattrisch.

Since 1984, Mattrisch said she entered countless homes helping people through the hardest of times while giving them hope. Back in 1996, her efforts were well documented when she used a defibrillator to save a man’s life.

"I couldn’t begin to count how many, but I’ve been a part of so many teams of people who have gone in to help save lives over the years, it’s been wonderful,” she said.

Mattrisch bid a bittersweet goodbye to staff and onlookers under an American flag, but not without a message to young girls who dream of following her career path.

"I say go for it, be respectful, work your butt off and learn from everyone else around you,” she said. 

Matriarch said she would like to transition into another line of work at some point. However, she plans to reminisce and enjoy her retirement with family for many weeks to come.

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