Thread: white males

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    Default white males

    Why is the fire service dominated by white males? Women and minorities seem to be woefully underrespresented, at least in the fire departments in my area. I there an explanation for this other than, "it's just always been that way"?

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    Default Not to stir up the proverbial hornets nest here... but

    Firefighter entrance exam information is posted in numerous locations. If someone wishes to take the firefighters entrance exam, they have to make the effort get their application in, take the exam and score the highest mark they can, pass the CPAT, physical and psychological exams and hope to get appointed.

    Everyone has the same opportunity. Those who are the best qualified should get the job...period. Race, religion and gender should not factor into it.
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    Yeah your right race,religion,ethinic background should'nt matter BUT they do now....

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    Muttly,
    Your reply could be read either way. I wont make any assumptions on which way you stand.

    IMHO, the people that want to be on the FD in the State of NY and particularly in WNY are given equal opportunity to sign up for the test as the Captain from Massachussetts explained. However, minorities are given a slight advantage in that they are given extra points for belonging to a particular group that the civil service commission deems a minority group. The fact that minorities are not represented according to their proportion of the population (thats a lot of "P's") is in effect no fault of the civil service commission.
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    i have herd stories where some fire depts would hire a minoritie with a low grade over a white male with a high grade..just because he was a minoritie(to basically make the city look good) has anyone else herd about this??
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    Default Re: white males

    Originally posted by lm002e
    Why is the fire service dominated by white males? Women and minorities seem to be woefully underrespresented, at least in the fire departments in my area. I there an explanation for this other than, "it's just always been that way"?
    Yes. Apparently women and minorities don't apply for or pass the test at the same rate that white males do. Simple.
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    BFD,
    Unfortunately, throughout the early and mid 90's, and in some place today, everyone was worried about affirmative action and being sued for not representing the whole community. That being said, some departments did hire women, or minoritys, even if they couldnt passed the testing, just to make quotas. There are documented cases where departments were sued for doing this.
    As for the original post, the reason you see mainly white males on the job is because that is the majority of the blue collar workers. You also need to look at the history of firefighting, at least in most areas, it was the Irish and Italians that originally took on the responsibilities of firefighting in their communities. It also was the Irish and Italians that were the majority of the working class in the US throughout the history of the fire service. Today, you see generations of firefighters that mostly still have ties to those heritages.
    Loo
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    firemed9: thank you for your response. That was the type of disussion I was hoping to induce. I didn't mean to bring up the issue of affirmative action. I know that everyone has an equal opportunity to take the civil service exams. I wasn't pointing any fingers. I'm merely asking (non-accusatorily) why women and minorities are traditionally underrepresented in the fire service. Firemed9's response makes a lot of sense to me.

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    Tradition


    Go back as far as you want, lets say 1752 when the Relief Fire company started in Jersey. What segment of the population became firefighters? White males and most prominent members and land owners of the community. Just look at the buildings that housed the fire companies when the country was new. The volunteer fire company became an important social institution. I don't mean to offend but would a slave, indentured servant, or woman who can't even vote be allowed to join? Of course not.

    As time advanced we all know that the fire service advances much slower then the rest of the world. Their are plenty of examples of how slow we move, hell FDNY still purchased wood aerials as late as 1955. LA still uses wood ground ladders. But that isn't the point, it is hard to break into the white boys club. When the fireservice has been white male for over twohundered years it isn't going to change overnight. It has nothing to do with who is capable or can do the job. When you look at cities with higher amounts of minorities you see more minority firefighters. As for women my opinion is that it is just how we raise our little girls. Do you see girls cloths in the store with firetrucks on it? No. If I want my daughter to wear a shirt with a firetruck on it I have to buy a boys shirt.

    So when those little girls grow up it isn't expected that they become firefighters.


    My $.02, I could be wrong, but it's my best guess.

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    i think it just really generally depends on the area that you are located. here in New Mexico the majority by far are hispanics. mainly because it is most of the population and also because what it basically comes down to is who you know, not necessarily what you can do... i shouldn't complain though being that i am hispanic eh?? the tough part is a matter of who i know, which is no one right now... but i am workin on it!

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    Ok, here it goes.
    Go back as far as you want, lets say 1752 when the Relief Fire company started in Jersey. What segment of the population became firefighters? White males and most prominent members and land owners of the community. Just look at the buildings that housed the fire companies when the country was new. The volunteer fire company became an important social institution. I don't mean to offend but would a slave, indentured servant, or woman who can't even vote be allowed to join? Of course not.
    As early as the late 1700's Charleston South Carolina had ward engines that were completely run by slaves with the exception of the leading foreman and his assistant. These were little hand pump engines that were no bigger than a riding lawnmower. This grew and continued until the US Civil War when these slave engine companies did most of the firefighting in the city when most of the volunteer white companies were off fighting the war.

    In my research I found that Charleston kept a powder magazine. This was meant for protection of the city as well as housing material to blow up houses to clear the way for the fire to be cut off in case of a conflagration. I have a news paper article from the Charleston Mercury that states "3 negro fireman were killed during the great conflagration that set upon our city yesterday evening. These brave men were killed when the home they were setting to demolish exploded for some unknown reason. Speculation suggests that a fire brand may have set off the charges leading to their untimley demise".

    There is no names of these men... there are no indicators of owners or if they were slaves at all. There names are known only but to God. These same ward engines became the black fire companies after the war and they helped protect the city until 1882 when Charleston went completely paid.

    Columbia South Carolina allowed any black man, free or slave, to fight fire as long as a slave had the permission of their master. They were paid $5 a year and a swig of whiskey at the fires. This was far cry from their white counterparts, yet they were still firefighters.

    Many of the towns in South Carolina had black fire companies. Their were 5 in Charleston alone as well as 2 in Columbia. I know of 2 that were in Orangeburg and at least 2 in Greenville.

    It was the women who did not fight much fire. I say this because I am sure there is a story or two of a female that may have braved the flames in the past. However it was the way things were. Women did not do much outside of the home. This was not always the case.

    I know this is abit off topic but there is a large history out there that is not known. As far as I am concerned if the person can do the job... step on up. We all sweat and bleed the same.
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    The City of Baytown in Texas has a list that your name goes on. They have a list for white males and a list for others. Your name is put on the list in order from your score. they alternate the hiring from one list to another even if your score is higher, and they are the other list they will hire from the other list.

    PAUL

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    It was the women who did not fight much fire. I say this because I am sure there is a story or two of a female that may have braved the flames in the past. However it was the way things were. Women did not do much outside of the home. This was not always the case.

    I know this is abit off topic but there is a large history out there that is not known. As far as I am concerned if the person can do the job... step on up. We all sweat and bleed the same.
    Here is a link about the history of women in the Fire Service.

    http://www.wfsi.org/history.html

    Cheers,

    Pat
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    This:
    The City of Baytown in Texas has a list that your name goes on. They have a list for white males and a list for others. Your name is put on the list in order from your score. they alternate the hiring from one list to another even if your score is higher, and they are the other list they will hire from the other list.
    is out and out racism. There should be ONE list, based on test scores. If I had scored higher, I should be hired BEFORE someone who scored lower, regardless of my racial origin. I would sue the city if this happened to me.

    This policy states that is OK to discriminate, as long as it is white males that are hurt. RACE, SEX, NATIONAL ORIGIN, OR WHICH SIDE YOU GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A BASIS TO HIRE, OR NOT HIRE.
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    I work for a very multicultural city (pop around 600,000), and although our department has only a handful of firefighters of colour, including one Oriental woman (out of 9 women on the floor), I can see the makeup of the department changing. This may not happen all that soon, but probably within a generation or two. When school groups show up for tours, it is a rainbow of faces. I think that when these little children see that yes, girls can be firefighters, or when they see a firefighter whose skin is the same colour as theirs, then we'll see these children consider choosing becoming firefighters when they grow up.
    I think in a lot of cases however, there may be a real cultural difference. Firefighting in some cultures might not be considered to be a noble or proper job, perhaps one only meant for the "lower classes or castes" (italics mine). There may be a real stigma to being a firefighter in other cultures, so when the children of immigrants of these cultures think of their careers, firefighting may not be one of those jobs considered.

    This is just my humble opinion, but I am looking forward one day to seeing firefighters of all stripes working together side by side. As I said before in my post about the 1st female firefighter hired in Arcadia FL (off duty discussions), I don't care if you're male, female, black, white or green with purple polka dots...if you can do the job then nothing else matters!

    Cheers

    Pat
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    The physical testing for firefighting weeds out more women than it does men. Most of the people that apply for fire jobs are white men, therefore, most firefighters are white men.

    Asking why the demographics of a public service doesn't reflect its community is ridiculous. There are hundreds of factors that go into why one race or gender is drawn to a line of work. There is no easy explanation.

    Eric

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    Most of those in our area don't really want to fight the fires. ... Problem is you start flowing water out of the hose and they nearly fall over. The physical strength just isn't there.
    This is complete bull.

    Perhaps Mr. Arrogance hasn't considered that his attitudes create a hostile environment that's much harder for women to work in?

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    Why does the percentage of demagraphics in an are need to influence the people doing a job. If you want the job, pass the written. Pass the physical. Be able to pass the psych, polygraph, and medical evaluations. Then enjoy your career. I have worked along side women, and people of other races, both in fire and ems. I had a woman instructor at my fire academy. And she was among the best I have seen. To make generalization about a gender or ethnic groups is wrong, and shows a bigoted attitude. You want to work with me-earn it. Then you will be welcomed. This is not an easy job, and it is not easy to join the ranks. THe best person for the job, be it man woman, white, black, purple, green, asian, antartican, catholic, jew, muslim, protestant or athiest is welcome to work with me. Earn it like all the rest of us have.

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    Originally posted by RMcNye
    This is complete bull.

    Perhaps Mr. Arrogance hasn't considered that his attitudes create a hostile environment that's much harder for women to work in?
    I can't believe I'm going to defend cdevoe, but here goes ...

    Did he say ALL women? No. Did he say the women in YOUR community? No. He simply stated that the women in HIS community who have joined the fire department did not have the physical strength to safely perform the tasks necessary for interior firefighting.

    No one is starting a gender battle ... relax.

    Stay Safe

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    This concept was discussed within the group members of my Firefighter I course. we were told that you took the test, and then your score was adjusted based on race, sex, and other affirmative action factors. The general concensous among all of us (white men, hispanic men, 18 y/o men, 30 y/o men, african american men, 1 woman, among others) was that the system sucked for the following reason. If I'm entering a building, I want the best firefighter as my officer. I don't care if the person is white, black, guy, girl, or any other characteristics you can think of. It doesn't matter to me, and it shouldn't matter to anyone else.

    If the FD make up doesn't match the population make up, then ask why. is it because white males are doing better on the test than other ethnic groups? If they are, then yes, they should be the ones who are the firefighters. if only white males are applying, then the dept needs to broaden its recruitment to get recruit more miniorities (not just white males).

    Race and sex should have no bearing on who gets a job. Fire doesn't care. I say let the most qualified people get the job. That's who I'd want to have my back.

    Dan

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    Yes, but should lime-green, smooth-bore nozzles be used in conjunction with red leather helmets or carried on a quint equipped with fog nozzles and composite helmets? ****sigh**** Here we go again.
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    in ct if your a white male you have a low chance of getting hired-- thats alittle unfair- huh?
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    Originally posted by CommDiva


    Here is a link about the history of women in the Fire Service.

    http://www.wfsi.org/history.html

    Cheers,

    Pat
    On the lighter side, did anyone else follow the link in this story to the photo of the "Woodbine, Texas, Ladies Volunteer Fire Department with their 1942 Ford pumper"? Notice the name of the pumper?
    Could the fine ladies of Woodbine have been having a private laugh of their own?

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    Originally posted by jthomas


    On the lighter side, did anyone else follow the link in this story to the photo of the "Woodbine, Texas, Ladies Volunteer Fire Department with their 1942 Ford pumper"? Notice the name of the pumper?
    Could the fine ladies of Woodbine have been having a private laugh of their own?

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!!.....gotta love it! Ladies, a tip of the hat to you!
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    Originally posted by StayBack500FT
    Yes, but should lime-green, smooth-bore nozzles be used in conjunction with red leather helmets or carried on a quint equipped with fog nozzles and composite helmets? ****sigh**** Here we go again.
    But the bigger question is...should lime-green, smooth-bore nozzles be used in conjunction with red leather helmets or carried on a quint equipped with fog nozzles and composite helmets by paid or volunteers and how many blue lights should they use in a rural or urban setting?

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