There are over ONE MILLION fire fighters in the United States, only 7% are women. (NFPA)
In 2013, Mercedes Benz invited us to travel across the country to meet some truly spectacular first responders. It was an experience that will stay with me forever. Many thanks to the city of Palo Alto, California and especially Captain Catherine Capriles. She opened her community to us and taught us what service is really all about.
Below are a few portraits I shot of Elena Maskalik. She works for the San Jose Fire Department. For her, fire-fighting is a way to give back, a way to make a connection with people on a daily basis. A Ukrainian immigrant, San Jose was her gateway to the United States. She is deeply-honored to be able to serve those who first welcomed her.