Thread: Women in the Firehouse
06-22-2001, 04:53 PM #101HD #1Firehouse.com Guest
With the exception of a VERY few, females do not have the strength, especially upper body, to perform many of the tasks required of a fireman. Here are some examples... hump a 35 foot ladder down an alley and over a couple of six foot fences (with a few dogs nipping at your butt) and raise it correctly, or run a 350 foot pre-connected line up 5 or 6 floors and extend it with a standpipe rack and put out a couple of rooms. Females may do OK out in the country where you spray out some grass fires and go on EMS calls, but in the city most females can't hack it. Don't get me wrong I have complete respect for women, but every person is not suited to do every job, and the sooner this is understood the better off we will all be. To encourage females to enter the fire service just to be "politically correct" is WRONG.
06-22-2001, 05:33 PM #102NKFFirehouse.com Guest
As a female Captain of a company that is not "out in the country" I can tell that you really do not think before you speak. It is not safe for anyone male or female to throw a 35 foot ladder alone and most of the time it is not necessary to throw it alone. I am not going to get into a ****ing match with anyone because frankly this is stupid. EVERYONE I REPEAT EVERYONE has limitations. Use your people to their best ability. You are correct, women are most of the time smaller then men. Who do you use for confined space rescue????? Not the huge burly 300 lb 6'3 person who won't fit! The best and most important tool in the fire service is your brain, not your muscles. It does not take anything to lift it. But a lot to put it to good use. I would rather have with me a person who is educated, experienced and can think ahead of the game on my crew that anyone who may be strong but can't use common sense. That is what my advice is for some of you. before you post something without thinking, would it matter who it was who pulled you out of a burning building or who it was, male or female who saved your child? USE YOUR HEADS
06-22-2001, 10:09 PM #103Jake295885Firehouse.com Guest
Ok, Enough fantasy island.
Women can't cut it when the chips are down.
Why is the top female score on a bull**** game such as the combat challange over a minute more than the male score.
Why don't women play the front line on any NFL football team?
Why no women on any major league baseball team?
I was once very open minded about this subject, but real world proof has changed my mind.
Sure girls you can do it all, but the only thing I see you doing is running your mouths and creating problems in a macho job.........Jake
06-23-2001, 12:06 AM #104fuegoFirehouse.com Guest
If your department lowers hireing standards to bring on any particular catagory of person
That lowers the standards for all people. In larger urban departments, it has become a real problem. In my department the physical test has gone from being ranked by time to a pass fail. The person who completes the test in 5 min. gets the exact same score as the person who completes in 2 min. Time was when over three min. meant no job.
I could care less what color, gender, age, religion, etc, etc, etc, you are. You don't even have to be smart though it helps a great deal. But you do need to be able to do the job physically and to take direction. If you are not the best candidate for the job, and if you don't strive to remain the best person for the job, you owe those you work with an apology.
The fire service is no place for a social labritory. It is also no place for sexism or racism. Get over yourselves and look at the job for what it is.
If the test is work related, and if anyone can take it, and if the top scores are hired, it only discriminates against those less qualified. And only because they are less qualified. If the winner is a woman, great. But if the winner is anyone, male or female who is less qualified than other available applicants, then our safety and the safety of those we protect has been compromised.
I sleep well at night, do you?
06-23-2001, 05:55 AM #105SonicFFFirehouse.com Guest
I promised myself I wouldn't get into this but....
During a training evolution I was up on a ladder waiting for the "downed firefighter" to be loaded onto my shoulders so I could bring him down the ladder. I waited patiently as TWO male firefighters struggled to lift the 180-lb "victim" onto my shoulders. Five minutes later they still hadn't succeeded, so I reached over the top of the ladder, grabbed the "victim", picked him up onto my shoulders and took him down the ladder. I'm a woman. Who do you want to work with, the guys who can't rescue one of their brothers, or a woman who can? No, these weren't rookies - they were both veterans. Everyone has weaknesses. And if you'd rather die than get dragged out by anyone....well, be careful what you wish for.
Personally I would rather die than let one of my brothers or sisters down. Let's ALL train hard and help each other. You see a weakness in your brother or sister firefighter, help them with it. Don't ridicule them, judge them, or write them off. Just because they are having trouble with a task doesn't mean they can't do it - help them figure out how. Make each member of your team the best they can be. Don't waste time worrying about what sex they are. Remember that EVERYONE has worked hard to get where they are. You never know when you will need the support of your brother or sister, whether at the firehouse, fireground, or just in your personal life.
As for those guys who couldn't accomplish the practice rescue? Hey, hopefully they learned something. That's what training is for. I would take them as my hose partners any time. I know they won't let me down when the heat is on. It's called trust.
I love you all, brothers and sisters - even if you don't think I belong with you just because I'm a woman.
06-23-2001, 06:09 AM #106XXLdoggFirehouse.com Guest
I swore I wasn't going to get into this, but the firefighters who also happen to be women that I serve with have been doing the job, and all that comes with it really well. I don't have any complaints, and I asked around and no one else has either. Sorry hctrouble25, but I might get my butt kicked if I call one of them a "female firefighter" because they don't like that.
06-24-2001, 12:15 PM #107NozzleHogFirehouse.com Guest
Fact: In the U.S. military, women are not eligible for service in ground combat roles. There are a number of reasons for this but foremost is that females almost invariably fail to meet the physical standards required of combat soldiers. According to tests conducted by the Marine Corps, for example, most women lack the physical ability to throw a hand grenade beyond its lethal bursting radius.
I would submit that fighting fire in an urban environment is very similar in terms of both the physical demands and the consequences of having people in the ranks who should not be there.
06-24-2001, 02:29 PM #108KGMFirehouse.com Guest
We know we can do the job.
Let our actions speak for themselves.
Most of the negative comments on this subject aren't even worth replying to.
Thank God you guys are the minority. We are all brothers and sisters. If you don't like it, get out of the fire service.
Your the one's I wouldn't trust backing me up on a hose!
06-24-2001, 07:20 PM #109comwhiteFirehouse.com Guest
I usually try to stay out of gender issues
, however some of the crap I've read here has caused me to respond.
I have the greatest respect for ALL firefighters. It's not just a job, it's a calling, and one that not everyone (men or women) are qualified for mentally or physically. To criticize women in the department because you feel that don't have the physical attributes is bull. They've had to prove themselves many times over. Pilots have to have some of the greatest upper body strength there is, take a look on the net and see how many female pilots there are. No, we don't allow women in combat roles, but I'd question it because of their physical fitness. I believe if the research were done, it's because we, as a country, still don't want to see our women taken prisoners and abused. They can qualify for any military service, and serve in field, except combat.
To say it's because they might cause one of the male firefighters thoughts of fornication is laughable. If they have those thoughts of a fellow firefighter, I'd hate for them to show up at my house to fight a fire with me in my nightgown. You're supposed to be professionals, which includes controlling your lust.
Female firefighters have to go the extra mile to prove their worthiness to the men they work with. They put up with slanderous comments such as some here, as well as "dike", "feminist", and numerous others. They not only pull their weight, but most of the time they go above and beyond to "make you like them".
I'm sorry gentlemen, but I think you're being petty here and not allowing the facts to speak for themselves. Women have played in professional football, women have served this country sacrificially, women have shown their strengths in every professional field, and women will continue to have to prove themselves to men.
06-25-2001, 11:33 AM #110NozzleHogFirehouse.com GuestOriginally posted by comwhite:
No, we don't allow women in combat roles, but I'd question it because of their physical fitness.
Have you ever served in the armed forces? Have you served in a combat arms occupation? Have you ever been in combat?
From reading your post, I'd say NO. If you had, you would have an informed opinion to share, not just a wild guess.
The facts, as I mentioned in my last post do speak for themselves. Again, most women can't throw a hand grenade far enough to avoid being killed by it themselves! These are the results of tests done by the Marines and are public record. If you think you know better and can back it up, prove me wrong.
06-25-2001, 10:08 PM #111MadDog2020Firehouse.com Guest
Hctrouble25, I don't know how long youve been in the service but everyone I've seen and had to deal with is a waist of time and County money there only there for the Pay Check.
06-26-2001, 02:12 AM #112mediatorFirehouse.com Guest
All I have to say is I had a sister that I would have followed to hell and back. I think I trusted her more that most guys I know. I always said If it was a big call she would be the one standing there trying to figure out a logical solution while the rest of us were busting our buts. In short YES A WOMAN CAN DO THE JOB AS GOOD OR BETTER THAT A MAN!
06-26-2001, 01:14 PM #113fire69dawgFirehouse.com Guest
My feelings are the same as most others, as long as the person can do the job, it doesn't matter what race or sex they are. The only problem I have with women in the fire service (and this goes for men as well) is if they can not do the job SAFELY, they need to step down or do something about it. You see this alot in the volunteer side. Too many times there are women ( and men) who join the department who can not perform the job, and they stick around. Now this can also be blamed on administration as well. But, people also need to suck it up and take responsibility for themselves. Alot of it is many volunteer departments don't want to decline anybody due to short staffing. But I would rather have 15 people who are dedicated and can and want to do the job, then to have 45 people and 30 of them can't or won't do the job.
06-26-2001, 02:37 PM #114ChiefMcDFirehouse.com Guest
If I could hand pick each and every firefighter on my Department, I would select the strongest, best fit, and knowledgeable people that I could find. I would expect most appointees to be male due to their strength alone. And if the women here would just sit back and think think about it for a minute, they should reconsider and just understand that that is the way that God built us. I'm sure that most of the women here have differing opinions. The women in this thread are probably the exceptions to the norm. Hats off to the ladies that can do all of the functions that we (the men) do, day in and day out.
06-26-2001, 03:21 PM #115hctrouble25Firehouse.com Guest
I agree with many of the men that some of the women do not have the physical strength to do the job. However, there are those of us that do and we should be respected and treated fairly. I did not start this post to cause an argument, I simply wanted stories both good and bad from fire fighters of all races, genders, etc. I know a few female fire fighters that I honestly would not go into a burning building with myself. Then again I know a few male fire fighters I wouldn't go in with either. It is all about using your strength and your head to get the job done..and not about who is sleeping with who, who is doing what with that one's wife, husband, or anything else. I don't get involved with that crap...I am there to do my job. Yes we are like a family, and yes we protect each other, but for the most part we speak our peace around the firehouse and then move on. I have had guys tell me that they didn't think I could do the job, or that they were interested in dating me when I joined, etc. I stop all this by doing my job and doing it well. I expect nothing less of anyone else on the department and I make that known - I am not there looking for a date. All I am saying is that if your past experience has shown you that women cannot do the job, that is fine. But please don't take that out on the next woman that comes in for a job. Let her prove herself..you never know she might be a great fire fighter and someone that you will come to trust and welcome into the brotherhood as one of your own. Stay safe out there boys and girls!
06-26-2001, 04:16 PM #116ntvilleffFirehouse.com Guest
I think it's time to put this thread to bed.
06-26-2001, 04:50 PM #117GritFirehouse.com Guest
06-26-2001, 09:18 PM #118Jimmy JamesFirehouse.com GuestWhat experiences have you had with female fire fighters?
Do you think your firehouse would accept a woman as an equal?
Are women capable of doing the job?
Please share your thoughts.
The problem with women in the fire service is not women in the fire service and the men who can't stand it. The problem is the majority of women in the fire service.
Yes, I respectfully submit that the root cause of problems with women in the fire service is the women themselves. In my years in both career and volly service, I have seen more than fifty women come and go. If you get the respect you say you do and can do the job like you say you can and I witness it, you'll be the second one that was worth anything besides a seat warmer in the engine on the fire ground. Of all the women I've served with, there has only been one that pulled her weight, that I trusted and that I would go in with. One.
All of them (including the one) simply joined on a manhunt or to keep track of their boyfriend or husband. They were (some continue to be) a waste of space on the roll. But they get to stay around because the young fellas like the attention they give and are too whipped by that attention and too stupid to boot them out. Some will even take them in just to get the hug and peck on the cheek for a good job afterwards.
Every woman, except the remaining few stragglers, has moved on to something easier (dispatch, admin, WalMart, Kroger) the very instant the opportunity presented itself or they got what they came for - a man.
Then to top it off, once they get a man, they think they know it all simply because they've been sleeping with a young buck and think all his vast limited firefighting knowledge can be passed along simply by the transfer of body fluids.
The dinosaurs of the departments are slowly going away and attitudes are starting to change, but women aren't getting physically stronger and the stereotypes that men have of women in the fire service continue to be perpetuated and improved upon by women (in my experience) in the fire service - weak, lazy, slutty, you name it. We didn't make that s$%t up. But to be fair, some of us didn't help to stop it either, including yours truly. And I admit my young dumb *** indiscretions from a time long before I was married with women on the department.
If you want a little more respect from the boys on the line, women in the firehouse need to get the women in line.
With me, you'll get the same chance to show yourself as the men do.
And this female firefighter crap. Get over it. I don't go around and the men on your department don't go around saying "I'm a male firefighter - accept me please."
Let your actions and your qualifications speak for themselves. Don't say anything regarding them unless asked about it. Nothing worse than a bragger that thinks they belong in a special class.
06-26-2001, 10:36 PM #119Althea ForhanFirehouse.com Guest
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
What good is Lennie Small on a fire scene?
06-27-2001, 12:26 AM #120comwhiteFirehouse.com Guest
Nope, I've never served in combat, but my father did twice. And so did, "Master Sergeant Barbara J. Dulinsky, who had volunteered for duty in Vietnam, reported to the Military Assistance Command in Saigon--the first woman Marine ordered to a combat zone. A total of 28 enlisted women and eight women officers served in Vietnam."
I also found the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender Training report to William Cohen, in September 1997. That report says, "The committee recommends that the services toughen the requirements in basic training by having the chain of command provide more consistent guidance on training standards, by limiting the number of standards that can be waived, by reviewing those standards where there are differences for males and females in order to remove as many differences as possible, by ensuring more strict oversight that current standards are being equally applied to both males and females, and by making field training more challenging (and, if appropriate, by adding culminating events)."
I thought you might be interested in this report also:
"CDI's Policy on the Service of Men and Women in the U.S. Military
28 January 1998
Every American who wishes to serve in the U.S. armed forces must be permitted to apply. No door should be shut because of gender.
All applicants for service in the armed forces must meet the same minimum standards for the branch of service they seek to join.
Each component of each military organization has different physical requirements and intellectual qualifications. All individuals should be permitted to apply to those branches of service which comport with their interests and match their capabilities and skills.
The military must reevaluate all Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) and set a single gender-neutral standard, not substandard, for each job based upon actual battlefield requirements. Double standards for any military occupation decrease combat effectiveness and are a source of friction between male and female members of the armed services.
Without exception, those who serve in each branch of the military must be permitted to compete for all positions and all types of duty. A gender-blind military will ensure that each job is filled by the most capable individual. This will increase combat readiness, effectiveness, and esprit de corps.
A two-tiered system which permits one class of individuals to avoid combat is unfair and detrimental to overall combat readiness and morale. All applicants for military service must be prepared and willing to serve in combat.
The restrictions that limit women's assignment to noncombat duty should be phased out over a reasonable time period.
Adjustments must be made to facilities aboard ships and at Army, Air Force, and Marine bases to accommodate both males and females."
Now, Mr. Nozzlehog, that doesn't sound like women can't do the job to me, as a matter of fact, it sounds as though we as a Nation are pushing toward the involvement of women in combat. Wanna show me your public record?
06-27-2001, 01:09 PM #121hctrouble25Firehouse.com Guest
06-27-2001, 03:57 PM #122NozzleHogFirehouse.com Guest
Did you really say, "Nope...but my father did twice?" Well, that settles it, you really are quite the salty old war dog aren't you? And on that basis you feel qualified to offer your "expert" opinion???
OK, now that I've stopped laughing. Let's see...well, maybe you have years of firefighting experience to draw on? Oh, thats right...you're not a firefighter either. Hmmm, your profile says you're a "city commissioner". Wow, now there's a surprise! A politician who has no real experience to work with, but who knows what is best for everyone else. Oh, and just so we all know each others agendas, what is your gender Joani, I mean ComWhite?
Well, I see you are at least adept at "cutting and pasting" meaningless and irrelevant documents from the internet. Again, a sign of someone who has no experience, unable to articulate for themselves, letting some other political hack do the talking for them.
I give facts, and conclusions that I've come to during seven years of military service and 21 years of fighting fire. You trot out politically motivated propaganda. Guess I shouldn't really be surprised, we're both just doing what we're able to.
[This message has been edited by NozzleHog (edited 06-27-2001).]
06-27-2001, 05:07 PM #123Titan4016Firehouse.com Guest
We have two women in our firehouse. They are both highly trained and pull their wieght around the station and at scenes. I would gladly go into a fire with these women. I feel if they are going to give the job 110% all the time, by all means welcome. I do feel if you are gonna BS around ( man or woman) go somewhere else, this job is too dangerous. As i said earlier if a woman is gonna give it her all, all the time, come along.
06-27-2001, 09:51 PM #124
- Join Date
- Oct 2000
Apparently I hit more than your funny bone, a nerve maybe? Yep, I'm an elected official, a female elected official, which means I deal with people like you daily. Funny thing is when they have to meet with me in person, they like to be real professional. It really doesn't matter at that point in time what experience I have in fire fighting or military, I still recieve a "yes maam". I've earned the respect of every firefighter in our department, and I don't abuse the power that has been entrusted to me. They know that and I know that, so what you know or think you know, really doesn't mean a whole lot to me.
Now for your experience in the military and in firefighting, thank you. See, I always like to tell a vet thanks for their time and sacrifices. Because of them I'm allowed to come into forums like this, voice my opinion and utelize my Constitutional rights.
Again, I posted my "public records", I'm still waiting for yours.
06-27-2001, 10:31 PM #125
- Join Date
- Nov 2000
Or should I say Ma'am? (There, feel better now?)
So you're an elected official. OK, you got a whopping 229 out of 373 votes. (BTW, You call that a city? I've got buildings in my response district with more people than that.) So now you know it all, right?
We could spout rhetoric until the cows come home and it wouldn't mean jack. Again, the facts I mentioned speak for themselves and are a matter of public record:
1.) In the U.S. military, women are not eligible for service in ground combat roles.
2.) Among the reasons for this (perhaps foremost) is that females almost invariably fail to meet the physical standards required of combat soldiers.
My point is that the urban firefighting experience is just as physically demanding and the consequences of having physically weak people on the job are the same - people die.
If you dispute the facts, prove me wrong.
[ 06-27-2001: Message edited by: NozzleHog ]
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