Female firefighter shares testimony on her road to BGFD; Women’s History Month

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Since the Bowling Green Fire Department began in 1898, three women have actively fought fires over the years. 

Kristina Stivaletti is one of eight Bowling Green Fire Department recruits who will swear in at the end of April – making her the fourth female firefighter in the department’s almost 125 years. 

Her story starts when she was on the other side of the 911 call.

“I found my brother being electrocuted. He was 11-years-old. We were washing farm trucks with the power washer. We didn’t realize there was a short in the power washer,” said Kristina.

In the middle of that terror, Kristina found comfort talking to a calm, level headed dispatcher.

“The way that dispatcher was able to talk to me and give me hope that there was help on the way… the way she was calm was really helpful,” she recalled.

That call changed Kristina’s life.

“I got involved as a volunteer,” she explained. “I absolutely loved it, and I just knew, this is what I was meant to do was to be a firefighter.” 

However, the road to get there was a rocky one. Kristina failed the Candidate Physical Abilities Test, or CPAT, required for firefighters more than once.

“Every time I failed, I didn’t just give up or make an excuse of why I couldn’t do it or wish that it was easier because, with the calls that we go on, the scenes are not gonna change just because of who you are,” she expressed her determination. “So for me, I knew I had to step up, and I had to do better.”

Finally, her hard work paid off tenfold.

“I passed the CPAT. I didn’t just barely pass. I actually had the second fastest female time at the facility I went to.”

Bowling Green Fire Department’s Katie McKee says Kristina is exactly what the community needs.

“We want to show people that we are there for them on their worst days and a lot of times showing up and having that female role model during certain situations can help somebody inspire them to be a firefighter when they grow up,” said McKee.

The fire and police departments in our viewing area are hiring, so now’s your chance to join people like Kristina and make our communities a safer place.