Lisa Smith ’87 is making the most of her retirement. After 27 years of service, she retired from the Colorado Springs Fire Department as a firefighter and a paramedic after a distinguished career, which included being part of the team that fought the largest fire in Colorado’s history and helping to set the world record for the fastest women’s relay in the Firefighter Combat Challenge in 2009. She is the first African American woman to achieve a standard retirement with that department.
But before retiring from firefighting, the U.S. Army veteran started working toward a new goal—a second career as an outdoor enthusiast. The Oswego zoology major enrolled in an associate’s degree in both outdoor education and park ranger technology— which she is now putting to good use as a volunteer outdoor educator and park patroller.
She is also using the extra time that comes with retirement to hike, backpack, camp (even in winter), rock climb and snowshoe in the Rocky Mountains.
“You can take the girl out of the Upstate New York snow belt, but snow and winter sports are in her blood,” she said.