Join us in kicking off Women’s History Month today by learning about EMT Maria Valenzuela and Probationary Firefighter Angelica Forlenza. The two were recently seen in households across the country when they helped to present nominations for the 2022 Academy Awards.
“I am proud to be a part of the team that was able to present the Oscar nominees. This Department has helped the City during its worse times and it was great to be recognized for all of the hard work we do each day,” said Valenzuela, a 15-year FDNY veteran, who serves as the Executive Assistant to FDNY Chief of EMS Lillian Bonsignore.
During the nomination event, Valenzuela also represented the FDNY Incident Management Team, which consists of federally trained groups of first responders who oversee large-scale incidents and emergencies, including forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.
“I joined the Incident Management Team in 2018 and was deployed all over the country to assist with natural disasters and state of emergencies. When I first joined, I was deployed to the West Coast to assist with the wildfires and then I took part in many initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic with IMT that included supplying safety and proper equipment for members, as well as helping with the vaccinations. In order to work here, you have to want to help people. There are so many branches to work in and opportunities to help others and that’s why I love working here.”
“I grew up around Firefighters my whole life. My dad, Ted Forlenza, is a retired Captain from Ladder 8. I have two brothers as well, but I’m the one who became a Firefighter and decided to follow in my father’s footsteps,” said Forlenza, who works at Engine 243 and who was one of two women graduates in our Probationary Firefighter Class in September 2021. “Being a part of the crew that presented the Oscar nominations was an honor. This Department is full of knowledgeable people who want to help others and I love the camaraderie. I love my job, because it’s exciting as well as rewarding.”