Just two ‘of the guys’

Crystal Dietz is one of the 25 members of the Balaton Fire Department — don’t see themselves as female firefighters. She considers herself another part of the department’s family, ready to serve the community at any time. Photos / Per Peterson

There is no gender when it comes to fighting fires or responding to emergencies. Crystal Dietz and Teri Hively are proof of that.

Like their male counterparts, Dietz and Hively have committed themselves to serving the public, whether it’s battling a barn fire or working on the scene of an automobile accident. To these two dedicated women, being there to help when called upon is the main thing — and they have shown that they can do so as good as any man.

“The one thing here in Balaton, being a woman, we’ve never felt different,” Hively said. “They’ve never treated us different; we’re just like one of them. It’s just been part of my life.”

“Just one of the guys,” added Dietz, who is a 10-plus-year member of the department.

See more in this week’s paper!