North Chicago fire chief, who made history as city's first female firefighter, retires after 30 years

North Chicago Fire chief retires after breaking down barriers as woman
North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban Photo credit North Chicago Fire Department

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — After 30 years with the North Chicago Fire Department, Chief Dell Urban retired Friday.

At a retirement ceremony outside North Chicago Fire Station No. 1, Fire Chief Dell Urban shared her memory of the day she first walked into North Chicago City Hall at the age of 20.

She said asked the human resources director for an application for the fire department.

"And, he looked at me bewildered and he goes, 'We don't have any girls on the fire department.' I'm like, Okay, can I have one anyway? The rest is history," Urban recalled.

And the rest is history.

Other than becoming the first female North Chicago firefighter, Urban, in June 2012, became the first full-time woman municipal fire chief in Lake County.