Florida fire crew becomes first team of all women to work a shift

Florida fire crew becomes first team of all women to work a shift
A firefighter holds a fire hose. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images) (BRETT HEMMINGS/Getty Images)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — When emergency strikes, 911 dispatchers contact the appropriate responders to make sure the right people get on the scene as quickly as possible.

Anyone who called in a fire emergency last week in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, could have received help from a historic team.

An all-female team was scheduled to work for the Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue.

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"That’s captain, driver engineer, firefighter, rescue lieutenant, and paramedic,” Rescue Lt. Krystyna Tesia Krakowski told WTLV.

Working with her were Captain Monica Marzullo, driver engineer Sandi Ladewski, Rescue Lt. Kelsey Krzywada and firefighter paramedic Julie Dudley.

It’s the first time that only women were scheduled to cover a shift in the department’s 57-year history.

The ladies posed for a photo that was later posted on a Facebook page for Firefighters to the Rescue, a nonprofit organization that raises money for families of firefighters, police and EMS workers. The post came just days after women’s rights advocate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died of complications from pancreatic cancer.

“On the same day that one of America’s most notorious women’s rights advocates passed away, our Fire Rescue Agency has its first day with an all-female crew in a historically male dominated career,” the post reads. “And we are all working to help those in need and make our community a better place.”

People quickly noted the significance of the crew and praised the inspiring team.

“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," Krakowski told WTLV.

Chief James N. Ippolito said 11% of the department’s firefighters are women, a significant figure compared to the female foothold of 4% among all professional firefighters.

“Our progressive staffing and recruitment efforts are reflected in that moment,” Chief James N. Ippolito told “Good Morning America.“ “As an equal opportunity employer, anyone who meets the job performance expectations is qualified to work for our department, regardless of gender ... We are especially proud that 58% of our female firefighters hold the rank of lieutenant or higher. When the alarm bell rings, regardless of an all-male or all-female crew, we are confident that our firefighters will be able to mitigate any emergency.”

The Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue serves 52,000 people and responds to 12,000 emergencies each year.