For the first time since its establishment in 1963, Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue made history with an all-female crew.
Rescue Lieutenant Krystyna Krakowski, Fire Medic Kelsey Krzywad, Fire Medic Julie Dudley, Lieutenant Monica Marzullo and Driver Engineer Sandi Ladewski were all scheduled to work the same shift together on Sept. 18.
The women range in age, with the youngest 29 years old and the oldest 53. Together, the women have a combined 80 years of experience .
They made history as the first all-female crew on the same day of Justice Ruth Ginsburg’s passing, making it seem as though this girl-power shift was in honor of her.
They look forward to potentially working together again in the future. Palm Beach Gardens Fire and Rescue currently has 12 female firefighters on staff and Deputy Chief James Ippolito is very proud.
Only four percent of U.S. firefighters are female, but 12% of this department’s force is female.
“As long as you hold your own and as long as you don’t pull the women card, they treat you the same,” the only female firefighter paramedic in Station 62, Heather Miller, said.
“The longer you’ve been at the department the better they treat you. My men treat me like a queen. They know I am confident and capable in what I do, but they also acknowledge and respect that I am a woman, so how they treat me is a little different,” Miller said.
One woman among those as Palm Beach Fire Rescue pleads to women and little girls to keep pushing barriers and continue to raise the bar in traditionally male professions.
Miller offers advice to both little girls and boys interested in pursuing this career.
“If they want to help people later on in life… If they want to be respected in life and if they want to go above and beyond each and every day for other people then this is the career for them,” Miller said.