Bloomington Fire Department Makes History with First All-Female Engine Crew

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus after training at the fire tower, left to right, Chauffeur Jax Rosebrock, Engineer Kayla Hammel, Captain Stacey Mitchell and Engineer Maddie Swaim, on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Staff report

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — March 18, 2024

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Bloomington Fire Department (BFD) marked a historic milestone Monday as they welcomed their very first all-female crew on one apparatus (engine).

According to the City of Bloomington’s official Facebook page, Engineer Kayla Hammel, Chauffeur Jax Rosebrock, Captain Stacey Mitchell, and Engineer Maddie Swaim made history within the department.

On the occasion, the crew participated in routine weekly training exercises at the Bloomington Fire Training Tower. The firefighters engaged in a simulated fire scenario, entering the tower to confront smoke-filled and “blacked out” conditions to locate people and pets during a search and rescue operation. The firefighters swiftly executed the operation inside the structure. The training, conducted by two firefighters at a time, was completed in less than an hour. The smoke was non-toxic and created by smoke machines.

The firefighters requested to be scheduled together in honor of Women’s History Month. There are currently five sworn female firefighters, and 6 more female civilians working at the Bloomington Fire Department. The first female firefighter in Bloomington history, Jean Magrane, was sworn in on January 5, 1987, and retired on February 27, 2013.

The all-female crew served their shift at Bloomington Fire Station #3.

In a statement posted on social media, the City of Bloomington expressed gratitude and appreciation for the contributions of these pioneering firefighters to the BFD family. “Congratulations on making HISTORY today!!”

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – MARCH 18: The Bloomington Fire Department’s first all-female crew on an engine apparatus participates in a routine weekly training exercise on March 18, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. The women asked to be scheduled together for one shift in honor of Women’s History Month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

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