MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Meridian Township Fire Departments first full-time female Firefighter has retired. Lori Schafer began her career with the department back in 1989 and has spent the last 25 years working her way up in the ranks to Battalion Chief.
For the last six years Schafer has been in the Battalion Chief position, and as of two weeks ago is officially retired.
Mark Vroman received the promotion into her position and previously worked closely with Schafer.
"It was wonderful, she's a tremendous leader, great communicator, and was a mentor to many of us including me," Vroman said.
During the beginning of her career, it wasn't too common for a woman to be a Firefighter. When Schafer first started, she faced a few challenges.
"My biggest challenge, because I knew I could do it, but they didn't was to A. show I could do the job physically and B. fit in with the station life," Schafer said.
Leaving the other crew members will be what Schafer misses the most. Schafer said her fellow members were like a second family to her.