Captain Barbara Duffy of the Milwaukee Fire Department was honored with her high school’s Distinguished Alum of the Year award by the John Marshall High School Alumni Association. Captain Duffy is the highest-ranking woman firefighter in her department. In her acceptance speech she spoke of the bias that she has overcome to be a female firefighter. It took Duffy three attempts to join her department before she made it through the Fire Academy in 1985. Though her journey has been difficult, Duffy said that she knows it would have been much more difficult if it wasn’t for the women who went before her. The first woman to join the Milwaukee Fire Department was Deborah Walsh in 1982.