These first responders got fired up to unexpectedly work together, as their teamwork marked a first in their department’s 57-year-history – the first all-female fire crew to staff a shift.
On Sept. 18, Rescue Lieutenant Krystyna Krakowski, Fire Medic Kelsey Krzywada, Fire Medic Julie Dudley, Lieutenant Monica Marzullo and Driver Engineer Sandi Ladewski were serendipitously scheduled as a crew for the Palm Beach Gardens Fire and Rescue in South Florida, Krakowski recently explained on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”
“Two of us were on overtime and the others were assigned to that shift,” she told host Jedediah Bila. “So we just got lucky, and organically it just occurred."
“It was really cool,” Krzywada echoed of the special day. “I'm the youngest, so it was really cool to be with all of them that have been here for a while and learn from them.”
The women of Station 65 were thrilled to make history, and the lieutenant said she’ll always be proud of the milestone.
"I am completely humbled. I think we all are,” Krakowski told WPEC. “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.”
The female firefighters range in age from 29 to 53, Today reports, and hope to inspire young girls to reach for the stars. Coincidentally, the girl-power shift fell on the day that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of women’s rights, passed away.
Though the first responders aren’t sure when they’ll be assigned to work together again, they’re already looking forward to the next all-female squad shift. Palm Beach Gardens Fire and Rescue currently has 12 female firefighters on staff, Deputy Chief James Ippolito told Fox 35, “with room for plenty more.”
In a statement, the department touted that while just 4% of the nation’s firefighters are women, 11% of their force is female.
“We are especially proud that 58% of our female firefighters hold the rank of Lieutenant or higher,” Palm Beach Gardens Fire and Rescue said.