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Tempe’s first female firefighter retires after 26 years on the job

(Facebook Photo/Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department)

PHOENIX — Tempe’s first female firefighter celebrated her retirement on Tuesday at the Tempe History Museum.

Gretchen Chalmers was hired in 1993 and served on the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department as an engineer-paramedic for 26 years.

Among her many positions within the department, she served on the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing team and as a CPR and first aid instructor at many community and school events.

She also competed as an athlete in the World Police and Fire Games three times winning medals in basketball, body building, water skiing and shot put.

Chalmers was honored alongside three other Tempe Fire Paramedics who were also leaving the department.

According to the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department Facebook page, the four firefighters had a combined 104 years of experience.

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