Deputy Chief Purifoy-Smoots nominated to become MFD's highest ranking African American woman

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Deputy Chief Purifoy-Smoots has been nominated to become the Milwaukee Fire Department's assistant chief. 

That will make her the highest ranking African American woman in Wisconsin's fire service.

She's a 25-year veteran of the Milwaukee department where her roles have included firefighter, paramedic, director of the Survive Alive House and director of recruitment. 

Purifoy-Smoots is well aware of the symbolic importance of her nomination.

"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," said Purifoy-Smoots.

"That representation, that matters at all levels, but it becomes much more visible in the rank that she'll be joining and leading it," said Chief Aaron Lipski.

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