CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago firefighter, whose son was killed in one of the most infamous shootings in Chicago history, has become the first woman ever to serve in the department’s second in command.

annette nance holt Firefighter Annette Nance Holt Named Departments First Female 1st Deputy Commissioner

Chicago Fire Department Deputy District Chief Annette Nance-Holt has been promoted to the rank of First Deputy Commissioner, the first woman ever to hold that post in Chicago history. (Credit: CBS)

Annette Nance-Holt has been appointed as first deputy commissioner, the position most recently held by Fire Commissioner Richard Ford II, who was named to the department’s top post last month.

“She is an outstanding tactician and administrator. Her abilities and leadership are respected by both officers and the rank and file,” Ford said.

Nance-Holt is the mother of honor student Blair Holt, who was killed in 2007, when he shielded a classmate from gunfire when gang member Michael Pace tried to shoot a gang rival on a crowded CTA bus.

Pace was originally sentenced to 100 years in prison, but that sentence was reduced earlier this year, after an appeals court ruled the original judge improperly expressed personal views at sentencing.

Nance-Holt and Blair’s father, retired Chicago Police Cmdr. Ronald Holt, became prominent gun control activists and advocates for crime victims after their son’s death.

A firefighter since 1990, Nance-Holt most recently has served as deputy district chief of the 4th District, which covers parts of the city’s West and South sides.