PALM BEACH GARDENS, F.L. — In a profession historically dominated by men, a group of women made a big wave at a Florida fire house last week.
The message they aim to spread is one of equality and diversity, encouraging young girls to chase their dreams – no matter where they may lead.
Last Friday was a day for the history books at the Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue Station 65. For the first time it was manned by a shift made up of all women.
“On that day at Station 65 from the top down: Captain, Driver, Firefighter, the Rescue Lieutenant, the Paramedic,” said Deputy Chief of the Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue Station, James Ippolito. “Every single person was female that day on that shift.”
The proof is in the picture, there’s Fire Medic Kelsey Krzywada second from left. She’s the youngest woman in the photo whose ages range from 20 to 50. She says it didn’t take her long to find her calling.
“I was always interested in the medical field, so medical field and something super active to help people it seemed like a perfect fit,” Krzywada said.
She admits that in a male dominated field, the road wasn’t easy.
“Fire school was definitely really hard, I’m always the smallest one, smallest height, smallest weight, it’s hard to keep up with the boys, I trained as hard as I could,” Krzywada said.
Lucky for her, there were other women before her like rescue Lieutenant Krystyna Krakowski on the far left to help pave the way. Even so she understood the impact of an all female crew on shift.
“We just thought women empowerment, girl power, how fun to have five women at the same station; it was a great day,” Krakowski said.
And also a sad one.
“It also happened on a day that Justice Ginsburg passed away as well.”
As Justice Ginsburg famously said, “fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
According to Krakowski it s already working for people like her daughter a college student and member of the palm beach ocean rescue.
“Women can do the same thing men can do, you know we’re capable of anything,” Krakowski said.
And now there are scores of others to carry on the legacy of equality.
“As the years go on and it becomes more prevalent, more girls are gonna see us and be motivated to go to fire school and EMT school and continue on through the EMS field.”