A fixture within Madison's Fire Department for the last 16 years is saying farewell this week.
Fire Chief Debra Amesqua announced her retirement in June and that day is finally here. Dozens gathered Tuesday night to say thank you and goodbye. As the state's first female fire chief, and only the seventh in the nation, Amesqua helped break down barriers in what was a male-dominated work place.
She said the department has changed a lot in her 16 years leading it.
"One of the things that keeps sticking in my mind are the amazing people that I've hired. That will certainly be my legacy," Chief Amesqua said. "I set out to create a caring and compassionate organization, and I looked at those two items in every person that I hired."
While the chief isn't officially done with her role until Jan. 3, with vacation time and the holidays, she is already finished with work.
She plans to make Tallahassee, Fla.. her new permanent home. It's where she's from and where her family is.