W e couldn’t let Women’s History Month 2019 end without introducing you to another FDNY history maker. Meet Captain Natalia Polunin, the first woman to ascend to the rank of Captain in our Haz-Tac Battalion. With 17 years of EMS experience under her belt, Captain Polunin said she is ready to take on this new challenge.
“My role as the Captain in the Haz-Tac Battalion includes direct oversight of the members operating in extreme conditions, such as building collapses or high-angle rescues. Our members train to operate in harnesses, to provide all types of medical care, even while suspended in the air. For example, if a window washer is on a skyscraper and is facing a medical emergency, we are there. During building collapses, while Firefighters are removing debris and securing the environment so that the patient can be removed, our Rescue Paramedics go in to stabilize the patient and administer medical care and life-saving medication,” the Captain explained. “It’s certainly a great privilege being the first female Captain in Haz-Tac. The journey is not always easy, but if you have something that you’re aiming for, just reach for it. Don’t ever think that you can’t attain a certain goal just because you’re a woman. I’m looking forward to extending my knowledge and through my growth, I’ll be a better asset to the FDNY and the city we serve. I’m very proud of the work that this unit does.”