All-female fire rescue team makes history

Breaking barriers

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (WPBF) – Five female firefighters in South Florida are making history.

For the first time ever, the all-women crew was called to serve as a team.

“It’s the first time we had in our department a female as a captain, a driver, a firefighter, rescue lieutenant and a medic,” said Rescue Lt. Krystyna Heiser Krakowski with Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue.

The department’s been around since 1963.

“There was more laughs and jokes, unfortunately at the men’s expense, because we were running the show,” she said.

All jokes aside, the men said it was a momentous occasion for them, too.

“That day the stars aligned, and it happened to be the day that Justice Ruth Ginsburg passed away as well, so it made the event even more special,” Deputy Chief James Ippolito said.

The women have a message for the next generation of female firefighters.

“We can do anything. We are capable of anything,” Heiser Krakowski said. “Don’t let anything stop you.”

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