1. #1
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    Angry Tired of the double standard.

    I am the only person who is tired of the special invitations to women and minorites to take fire exams. I have NOTHING against either of them, and if they pass THE SAME EXAM and PHYSICAL as me then I would be the 1st to say congrats to them. But now I think it is getting alittle out-of-hand, applications BEGGING them to take the test. I mean look at the FDNY exam it was pushed back because not enough women and minorites applied? Then they had a "special" physical preparment class for the women to take the physical. It wasent offered to men though. I know this is going to start a heated argument im sure, and trust me its not what I want to do, im just curious if anyone feels the same way that I do......

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    Just to give you a glimpse at the female side:

    I am tired of people saying "Your're a ff?" with amazement in their voices.
    I am tired of innuendo that suggests that some rule must have been bent/broken/ignored for me because I happen to be smaller than the average guy.
    I have often experienced the feeling that I must be a person of less than moral standards because I work with so many men. Oddly enough, I view the guys as PEOPLE.

    I work with a good team. For the most part it is Civilians that are causing these problems. My guys are great and they have admitted it when I have surpassed their expectations but it is done in a positive way. I admit that occasionallly they can be a little protective. But that's the way they are and I know if I crank a little, they will ease up.

    I know there are depts. out there that still need to work on policies and attitudes but that is true of most industries and professions, isn't it? I decided in the beginning that I would do my best and forget about whining. Not all things here are exactly fair but I also see the reason for it. "Reason reduces whining."

    I think I'm done...

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up

    Amen to that! For the longest time, I was asked if I rode the ambulance! We don't even have one in my department.

    Stop making a big deal about it and we will all be fine. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated.

    At the end of the day, we're all in the same turnout gear head-to-toe anyway.
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

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    JAFO, I feel the same exact way and yes, this has been a pet peeve of mine. I don't feel that every single ad should say "Women and minorities encouraged to apply." I know they do it to please all of these civil rights groups that spend their entire lives trying to find something to bitch about, but if I was an employer, I wouldn't want someone who you had to beg to apply. I would not want an employee who would sit around and whine "I know they would never hire me because I'm black." Or "I'm a woman, I'm sure they wouldn't want me on the force."

    Here are two quotes I found very interesting:

    RookieLZ:
    I am tired of innuendo that suggests that some rule must have been bent/broken/ignored for me because I happen to be smaller than the average guy.
    JAFO2004:
    I mean look at the FDNY exam it was pushed back because not enough women and minorites applied? Then they had a "special" physical preparment class for the women to take the physical. It wasent offered to men though.
    Rookie, I am not agreeing with those people because I don't know you, but in some cases the rules are being bent. They're bending over backwards to accomodate women and minorities, when EVERYBODY should be treated equally.

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    Philadelphia has the same issues. The "unnofficial" list is seperated into the "white" list and the "minority" list. On the white list they have only reached into the 300's, on the minority list they have surpassed the 1500 mark by far.

    Why does this happen? Why not just hire who wants the job, hire from the top of the list down?

  6. #6
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    If you are refering to certain minorities not being held to the same hiring standards as others, I believe there was a lawsuit involving that scenario in the Chicago area recently, I'm not sure how it worked out.

    On a lighter note I recall a line in a movie back in the 80's where Nick Nolte and Rip Torn were both Texas Rangers, When Torn was asked how he felt about Females being hired in the Rangers, He replied:
    "I got no problem with it, as long as they're six foot six and mean as a snake"

    My personal opinion is, as long as a woman meets the requirements, and can do the job, it makes no difference.
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    Default

    Originally posted by Smoke20286
    My personal opinion is, as long as a woman meets the requirements, and can do the job, it makes no difference.
    I agree with that also Smoke. I think the point of JAFO's post was that in some places they are not being held to the same requirements. We have no females on our department. We are using the same agility test that has been the standard test for years. We have had some women take the test and fail and go on to other career departments. They almost always say they are worried about the dummy carry, but they fail the other portions of the test, the ladder raise or hose drag. We would definitely welcome anyone that can pass the same test as everyone else.

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    Default Just Some Thoughts

    1. In large part, the fire service caused this situation by our own actions in the past. Unfortunaltely, our generation, of WMFF's, is the one paying the price for generations of exclusion.

    2. The Dallas Firefighters Association won a ruling from the Federal Court in New Orleans that stated that race or gender could not be factored in promotions and I believe hiring as well. The ruling stated that gender,race, age, ect. could not be used as a descriminating factor nor could it be used as a benefitting factor. In other words race, gender, ect. could not be considered only the candidates results. If I remember right, the city of Dallas appealed to the Supreme Court but settled before the case was heard, in affect making it case law on the issue. Contact the Dallas IAFF they can give you the details.

    3. There is nothing more destructive to the Fire Service Family than the devisiveness of this issue. While having a fragmenting effect on the service, I understand the historical roots and needs for gender and racial based firefighter groups and special action agendas. I just hope that this era will be a historical footnote by the time my kids are old enough to follow in their Dad's footsteps if that is their wish.

    4. If we will treat each other as we would want to be treated most of these problems would take care of themselves pretty quickly.

    5. You can't change the past, but you don't have to repeat it's mistakes either. The only descrimination in the fire service should be based on performance and qualifications, anything else is on a slippery slope that eventually will end in a courthouse.

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    Now I work with a lot of women on my dept. and I have both. The ones that I would have no problem following into a fire and those that when I get partnered with, I cringe but it is that way with the guys too. If they made it on the same test I took then its all good.

    We held an inhouse firefighter challenge earlier this year and made some significant allowances for the women. One of them finished 4th with the allowances and another one finished 8th without the allowances. Guess who got more respect?
    Never Forget 9-11-01!!!!!!
    There wasn't just 343, the other 73 rescue workers deserve to be remembered too!!!!

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    I am one of a very few female ff on my dept. I am the only one on my shift. I agree completely with the frustration of many (white) males. I know that I was hired because I am the most qualified for the job and I would not want it any other way. I took the same physical, same written and same interview. My chief is completely against hiring women for the sake of hiring women. We have a cut off score on the test, if a women is one pt. below it, he will not lower the cut off to get her on the list even if there are no women on the list. I never have to, nor would I want to wonder if I was hired because I am a women. I would not want to work for a dept that gave me concessions. Are there dept. that will not hire me because I am a women. yeah, I interviewed for a dept that was all male and was asked in the interview "what are we supposed to do with you?" I dont really think that is my job to figure out. Does that suck, yeah, but I would not want to work there anyway. We all have obsticles. Dont give me special consideration because of my gender. It is hard enough to prove as a women that you can do the job, think how hard it would be if you got the job because of concessions. I can highly sympathize with males who want fire jobs. NO ONE should be discriminated against because of there gender (or race, or sexual orientation, etc.)

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    Default

    [/B] [/QUOTE]

    My personal opinion is, as long as a woman meets the requirements, and can do the job, it makes no difference. [/B][/QUOTE]

    THANK YOU!!!

    I have to admit, we had a guy that was one step short of useless and loved to boss around those he deemed inferior. There was a collective sigh of relief when he resigned due to a job transfer. He caused me to doubt myself and question every move I made. Now that he is gone, I find I can do things correctly and not doubt my every move.

    Also, there are no requirements, other than a medical certificate to join our Volunteer Dept. (Could you cringe a little quieter???) We are encouraged to go on courses as much as possible. I will be on course for 3 days the end of March. I WANT to learn and I WANT to improve. I want to be as effective as "the boys."

  12. #12
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    Default 2 cents...

    Hey- Affirmative Action and hiring preferences
    suck. I know because I once scored high on a test
    and then got passed over for "more desirable
    candidates."

    Look, you can bitch and whine and it aint gonna
    fix anything unless you can change the laws, etc.

    Here is what I suggest Go out and make yourself
    more marketable. Yes, you and I are never "done"
    in the area of education. And never say- "I
    got every cert. out there, because we dont."
    We never stop learning. Are you a Paramedic?
    Most fire service jobs today want medic.
    Have a degree? Get moving if not.

    Also, test more than jsut one place. Get on a bunch
    of lists. Get your interview skills down and we'll
    see you in Band A!
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 03-16-2004 at 11:02 PM.

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    i hear ya brother. that crap is way out of control. it is
    based on good intentions but is now in some cases putting
    other firefighters at risk. heres an example. I tested for a job
    in connecticut in 2002. not only was it advertised that women and
    minorities were encouraged to apply but i was neighbors with a
    FF from that dept and he just but it bluntly and said that if
    100 white men pass the test and there is a minority or women
    at #99 or 100, they will get the call first and get offered
    the job. well it was nice to know that only about two minorities
    even applied for the job. one didnt get past the written and
    the other didnt show up to the physical. so i figured the
    fair playing field was set. Top scores would get first spots.
    or so i thought!
    i forgot about the women factor. well to make a long story
    short, they hired the only woman on the list who forgot to
    mention that she had a slight back problem until after she was
    hired. and by that time, they couldnt fire her for fear of a
    lawsuit of some sorts i guess.
    My point is this. when it comes to a career where physical
    strength is so important and will very likely be needed to
    save someones life, exceptions SHOULDNT BE MADE. if the job
    requires you to lift 100 lbs the woman shouldnt have to only
    lift 25. i think women can be damn good firefighters and there
    are alot of them out there. but they need to meet the same
    standards as the men do. for safetys sake.
    and for the minority preference. again. POINTLESS. High scores
    should get you the job. Not reverse racism. We all look the
    same withour gear on. color doesnt count. ability does.

    Sorry for babling so long. Stay safe all

  14. #14
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    Default

    Originally posted by Smoke20286
    My personal opinion is, as long as a woman meets the requirements, and can do the job, it makes no difference.
    Ditto

    I would change this to:My personal opinion is, as long as a (Fill in the blank with race/gender/believfe system) meets the requirements, and can do the job, it makes no difference.

    Affirmative action has allowed discrimination based on preference. It's time to end it, not just in the Fire Service, but in all areas.

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    Originally posted by pfd3501

    Affirmative action has allowed discrimination based on preference. It's time to end it, not just in the Fire Service, but in all areas. [/B]
    I agree with this statement 100%. They are fighting discrimination against minorites by blatanly discriminating against white males. I'm like most of the others on here. I have absolutely no problem with a female or minority being a fireman IF they've proven they can and weren't hired solely because they were a certain color or sex. NEPatsfan, I think it is great that you're a woman and did so well on all the tests and proved you can be a FF.

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    I also detest discrimination. It would be devestating to find out that I was accepted just because I was female and that no-one felt I could do the job. Mercifully, I am getting better all the time, and the guys WILL partner up with me voluntarily. I'm not the biggest, not the best and I don't know everything. But what I know, I know, I can adapt to different situations and I am more than willing to go on courses to get even better.

  17. #17
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    Cool Well.....................

    I recruit Volunteers, rather than hire people, simply because we're a Volunteer department. I do NOT recruit Women, Hispanics, Blacks, Native Americans, or Transgendered Midgets (heard about them on TWD) What I recruit is VOLUNTEERS! I could care less how tall you are, what color you are, how old you are, or anything else EXCEPT that you have a sincere desire to do something constructive for our organization. That's ALL there is to it.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

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    Thumbs up

    All rise for a standing ovation for HWOODS!
    And THAT, Ladies and Gents, is how it should be done

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    I have often said that hiring should be a blind process where those doing the hiring are judging a number only. There is no contact with the candidate and the candidates are hired based solely on how the candidates score on objective criteria. At the end of the day those hired are those who score the highest. After all it is called a competition, therefore it should be competitive.

  20. #20
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    BRAVO HWOODS!

    I totally agree, this minority crap is getting way out of line. I have worked with female firefighters all my career and there is no difference. As long as you can meet the requirements of being a firefighter (not a male standard and then a female standard) then welcome to the job.

    In fact as I have said before, most women in the fire service have had to work twice as hard just prove themselves. There is no difference to me whether your male, female, transgendered, white, black or twist, we are all FIREFIGHTERS!!

    We need to make this sort of thinking go away and go away fast!
    ___________________
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    Altoona, WI

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    Default

    That reminds me of a story--

    I went to a PAT for a Fire Depatment (paid)-there were 37 of us--all were volunteers with decent credentials. All males, all non-minority. The PAT was outrageously difficult (think pullups in full turnout gear) and only 7 of us passed.

    Who did they hire?

    2 minorities who did not take the physical and had NO prior firefighting experience. They even dispensed with the formality of an interview board.

    Those 2 did not last long and they're having a difficult time finding anyone else to "try out".

    Myself--I decided that maybe this wasn't the department I'd want to work for--

    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

  22. #22
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    These are good idea's, and I can't say that I disagree with the view points presented. What you all are not taking into consideration is that we dont hire our new members. Some of you are speaking from a volunteer aspect in which you as a chief etc... have a much more direct influence or decision in whom is brought on board. I happen to work for a department where the hiring is not touched by the department itself. It is all handled by my city's police and fire commision. We are also under a federal mandate as far as minorities being brought on the job. We as the working stiffs have to work with what is given to us as far as cubs go. It is extremely unfair to try and compete against those kinds of obstacles. It is also unfair for us to have to work with those who are hired that either dont want to do the job, or physically cant. We have both categories. When women are placed on our eligible lists for hire, they are pulled out of where ever they may be on the total list(the so called "majority list") and placed numerically with only the other women on a seperate woman only list. What this means is if they placed 400 or where ever they happened to place with every one they are now number 2 or 3 or 10. What this means is that someone who would not have been hired had they stayed with everyone on the normal list now has a job. This also means that someone who was qualified, or more qualified than this particular woman now is not employed. Hope this makes sense, my only point is its out of our hands.

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    Default double standard

    In a perfect world a municipality would adopt a testing system that would contain stringent standards which are job specific and adhere to these standards throughout the hiring process.
    No person should be denied a fair employment opportunity or gain an advantage based on gender or ethnicity. Designing an exam to target a specific type/group of persons is nothing short of discrimination. Does an entrance level exam that only tests verbal and written skills and has no weighted physical ability portion provide you with the best available balanced person? Should you be required too run the forty in 4.5 seconds, bench press 400lbs? Should being a volunteer firefighter and having all kinds of certifications automatically make you a desirable candidate for employment? Iíd say NO to all of these questions( although the one who could run 4.5,400lbs press might be nice to have on a roof or humping some hose). My point being, giving preference to a woman or minority just for the sake of diversifying the department is just wrong.
    For those of us who have a career in the fire service the bigger question might beÖ What kind of watered down product are these skewed hiring practices going to turn out? Should we be hiring someone who doesnít really want the job? What if you do want the job but canít cut it physically? I say too bad! Giving it the old college try and failing is not good enough. Who will pick up the slack on the fire ground? At what point will we stop being able to do more with less? Especially now, countrywide, fire department staffing is being cut to dangerously low levels. My department not long ago had over 700 uniformed personnel; we are now down to approximately 550. Our city is the same size, structures are in worse condition, although the population has dropped somewhat. Demand for our service has soared which says to me that more people depend on our service. I wouldnít say that no woman can do the job, that would be ignorant. I had some experience with this and have formed my opinion, it may not sit well with the pc crowd but I DONíT CARE ! They are not the ones being effected by this. It is a disservice to the citizens we protect and a matter our own safety. Of course the politicians who set the rules are more concerned with keeping their jobs then providing the best service. Donít mistake my concern for this matter as arrogance . I consider myself fortunate to land a job in the fire service.
    STAY SAFE BROTHERS!

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    If you want to talk about poor hiring practices that overlook the most qualified on a day-to-day basis, let's talk about nepotism and favortism.

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    This particular conversation will never die and will forever be a topic to post. There are departments that do drop the standards for those who can not past the written test or the physical.

    I (being a gal) went through the same college(8months of training with requirements just to apply/written test and interview) and physical testing(one to get in the college and one to leave) as the guys did. I would be the first one to say that if I couldn't do the job I wouldn't be here. With the necessity to work as a team and depend on each other...your ability to do the job is important. As hwoods said he hires volunteers.... doesn't matter if you are male/female, black/white/brown/green with red dots " If you can do the job/pull your own weight/work as a team/learn/get better as you go",you belong there. Best person for the job.

    Just my two cents... up here in Canada

    Red

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