Florida Firefighters Make History As Department’s First All-Female Crew
Through pure happenstance, a Florida fire department had its first-ever all-female crew on a shift.
In its 57-year history, Palm Beach Gardens Fire and Rescue in South Florida has never seen a full shift with only women battling flames. It’s a typically male-dominated profession, and the scales are rarely tipped.
Earlier in September, history was made when the department set up the rota for a shift, and as luck would have it, only female staff members were assigned.
Check out an interview with Palm Beach Gardens’ all-female crew below:
Rescue Lieutenant Krystyna Krakowski, Fire Medic Kelsey Krzywada, Fire Medic Julie Dudley, Lieutenant Monica Marzullo and Driver Engineer Sandi Ladewski were on shift at Station 65 on September 18. The crew are all aged between 29 and 53, according to Today.
While appearing on Fox & Friends Weekend, Krakowski, a single mother-of-two, explained, ‘Two of us were on overtime and the others were assigned to that shift. So we just got lucky, and organically it just occurred.’
She added in another interview:
That day, every rank was filled with a female, which was awesome, I’m not going to lie. I was giddy like a little girl. I still am. It’s girl power – we build each other up and we rise by lifting others. Those of us who are moms – our kids are very supportive. Our daughters are our biggest fans.
Krakowski said the ‘reaction from people when they saw five women pile out of two different apparatus was funny’, and while there were jokes about pillow fights and online shopping, people told them, ‘I hope you get a big call so you can show them what you’re capable of.’
Firefighters to the Rescue, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to helping public servants and their families, first revealed the news, which came on the same day that ‘one of America’s most notorious women’s rights advocates’, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, passed away.
In a Facebook post, the group wrote, ‘Sometimes things come together in odd ways… as a father of daughters, I find these incidents of coincidence interesting.’
It added, ‘Our Fire Rescue Agency has its first day with an all female crew in a historically male-dominated career. And we are all working to help those in need, and make our community a better place.’
Krakowski also told CBS 12, ‘I am completely humbled. I think we all are. It’s empowering. We’re all about woman empowerment. It’s exciting. It’s sad that that’s not the norm but it’s becoming the norm.’
Palm Beach Gardens Fire and Rescue explained in a statement that its ‘progressive staffing and recruitment efforts are reflected in that moment’.
It added, ‘Nationally, female firefighters represent 4% of professional firefighters, whereas women make up 11% of our department’s firefighters. We are especially proud that 58% of our female firefighters hold the rank of Lieutenant or higher.’
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Firefighters to the Rescue, Inc./Facebook