‘More than ready’: Stollmeyer becomes Northampton Fire Department’s first female captain

By JAMES PENTLAND

Staff Writer

Published: 06-02-2023 4:50 PM

NORTHAMPTON — In a promotion that Fire Chief Jon Davine termed a “historic moment,” firefighter Natalie Stollmeyer became the first female fire captain the department has ever had.

Stollmeyer was joined by her partner, Scott, and family from California — mom and dad Teri and Ron Stollmeyer, sisters Katie and Megan, and nephew Braydon — for a ceremony at the fire station, with Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra administering the oath of office.

A firefighter/paramedic for the Northampton department since 2008, Stollmeyer takes over the duties of fire prevention officer from Capt. Mark Curtin, who is retiring after 32 years on the force.

“It’s the busiest position in this department,” Davine said. The job involves code enforcement, safety inspections, coordination with state fire inspectors and local building inspectors, and now includes solar inspections. The prevention officer reports to the assistant fire chief — currently Andy Pelis, who was fire prevention officer himself for six years.

Stollmeyer, 40, said she was “more than ready” for the new challenge, having taken the promotional exam three times in the last eight years. Among her other duties, she’s part of the countywide critical incident stress management team and provides peer support within the department. An advocate for wellness, she was instrumental in obtaining new equipment for the department’s gym using grant money, Davine said.

Stollmeyer grew up in Los Angeles County and moved to the East Coast when she enrolled in Wagner College on Staten Island on a softball scholarship. After graduating Wagner in 2004, she attended American International College in Springfield, where she obtained a master’s degree in public administration, and also found time to become certified as an emergency medical technician.

“I met a lot of good people in the fire service working for Baystate Ambulance as an EMT,” she said.

She continued to advance her education, graduating from paramedic school and joining the Northampton department as a firefighter/paramedic. Now, she’s in the unusual position of having a job that more or less adheres to office hours.

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“I’ve never had a Monday-to-Friday job before,” she said.

Teri Stollmeyer said it was a special day.

“(Natalie) has worked hard in a male-dominated profession,” she said. “We’re very proud of her.”

Davine said Stollmeyer’s promotion was well deserved.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see her sitting in my seat some day,” he said.

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