Author Topic: Female Firefighters in the Media  (Read 15710 times)

Offline Blue

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Female Firefighters in the Media
« on: February 18, 2007, 04:14:23 PM »
Coming back to a previous post about being labelled a 'female firefighter' in the media, I'm interested to hear what others think of the coverage of the recent full time crew at Mt Gambier. Every news report added in the fact that the station "boasts the highest percentage of female firefighters in the MFS" thanks to a media release from the Minister's Office. What has that got to do with the price of eggs? Who cares what sex the fire fighters are. Or is it just one of those media beat ups where you have to use words like 'longest', 'biggest', 'most', 'best' just to get some coverage...

Blue

Offline alphaone

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2007, 08:36:31 PM »
I have to agree with Blue, who cares what sex a ff is! what matters is that the job dets done by the most capable and trained person, if that is a female so filtered what. However it is good to see that Female FF are being promoted as the Firefighting proffession is still very much a "boys brigade".

Offline lilmiss_firey

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2007, 09:35:10 PM »
Well i have noticed this is getting better...

Most CFS stations have at least 1 but mostly more females who actually are fire fighters and the percentile in the MFS is going up more, it isn't really uncommon now to see a female @ a fire station or in a fire truck...

Offline SA Firey

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2007, 07:45:44 AM »
More the merrier :-D
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Offline Blue

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2007, 12:55:49 PM »
Hmmm, it seems to be a strange catch 22 - on the one hand its great to promote females in the fire service and maybe more will consider it an option, but at the same time when the gear goes on, we're just fire fighters like everyone else. I'm looking forward to the day when X% of females in any line of work isn't news, it's just ho-hum life.

That said, I have worked with some female CFS newbies that have made me cringe when they complained about breaking nails while bowling a hose   :roll:  :-D

Offline Firefrog

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2007, 01:06:19 PM »
And I have worked with guys who make me cringe for all sorts of reasons...And Girls who do themselves proud with their  commitment, strength and skill!
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 05:53:03 PM by Firefrog »

Offline Ryan

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2007, 03:03:30 PM »

Offline bittenyakka

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2007, 05:11:40 PM »
I have no problems with women joining it creates diversity amongst the CFS and you meet some great new people. If there is any thing they can't do it is the OIC job to allocate tasks to the person most able to complete of that task.

Offline Mike

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2007, 06:04:42 PM »
I have no problems with women joining it creates diversity amongst the CFS and you meet some great new people. If there is any thing they can't do it is the OIC job to allocate tasks to the person most able to complete of that task.

can't do?????  how do you justify that? or a typo????

Offline alphaone

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2007, 06:09:41 PM »
I have no problems with women joining it creates diversity amongst the CFS and you meet some great new people. If there is any thing they can't do it is the OIC job to allocate tasks to the person most able to complete of that task.

can't do?????  how do you justify that? or a typo????

I think he/ she means it is the OIC's job to allocate jobs according to a persons abilities, not as it may be read and that women FF can't be OICs.

Offline Alan (Big Al)

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2007, 07:55:57 PM »
Women FF's can't be an OIC what the????? PIIIIP...... i think some one needs to be pistol whipped :roll:
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Offline bittenyakka

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2007, 08:18:36 PM »
alphone is correct sorry for any misunderstanding i caused.

Yes women can be the OIC, no matter what gender the OIC is they have the responsibility of delegating tasks.

Offline 5271rescue

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2007, 01:17:20 PM »
Does it matter if you are male or female as long as you can do the job,I would say that the media with the hand /help of someone  just took that point that there a female F/F and ran with it...
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Offline Ryan

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2007, 03:45:31 PM »
Scenario

Perfectly capable firefighter who is female sitting at home thinking "I wouldnt mind being a firefighter"  then she thinks it is such a male dominated area and she wouldnt get much of a chance.  Said female goes back to watching tv.  A few days later Miss Smith see's that Mt gambier MFS has a good percentage of female firefighters she thinks cool I wont be the only one in a male dominated area.

Its good the media do say that stuff cause it helps people and encourages them to join so they know they wont be out of their ocmfort zone.

Offline Pipster

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2007, 05:29:06 PM »
On the other hand, taking the women who have joined, and lining them up in the media, often paraded around with the heirachy - along with comments which basically mean "look at us, we have women" - and thereby keeping those higher up the line happy, by "fullfilling" their Equity & Diversity requirements (or at least, it looks like it does, whether or not the service in question actually means it) - is not necessarily a helpful thing.   I am not referring to any specific service /brigade in the comment.

Particularly in areas that have very low numbers of female firefighters, taking the only female fire fighter in the area, and holding her up to the media is sometimes lining the female up to be shot (figuratively speaking).

I much prefer to see publicity about the fire service (whichever one it is) which has pictures which show the firefighters, some of which just happen to be women... or a relevant comment from a fire fighter, who just happens to be a female...

In this way, it is less of lining up the females to be shot, makes it more of a normal thing to have a female depicted - no hype, just that there happen to be male & females in the photo / publicity.

But having said that, going out on an all female crew can be a great publicity thing.... I have come across several members of the public (who had to stop out our road block, while the crew removed several trees that were blocking the road.)   The look on their faces was pricesless when they first come across the females at the road block, and have a chat to them, and then watch as the chainsaw operator stops, and puts the chainsaw down (having finished the tree) and removes the hemlet & coat...to show another female.  Then another female then has to move the appliance to allow the traffic through.....

The bulk of those watching would have assumed that the firefighters were male, and saw them doing the job quite well...and then found out they were female......which I suspect changed a few perceptions....

Pip
(In a brigade with a female Captain,& 7 female firefighters...)   :-D


There are three types of people in the world.  Those that watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

Offline SA Firey

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2007, 06:30:00 PM »
GOLD  8-)
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Offline Blue

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2007, 06:55:35 AM »
On the other hand, taking the women who have joined, and lining them up in the media, often paraded around with the heirachy - along with comments which basically mean "look at us, we have women" - and thereby keeping those higher up the line happy, by "fullfilling" their Equity & Diversity requirements (or at least, it looks like it does, whether or not the service in question actually means it) - is not necessarily a helpful thing.   I am not referring to any specific service /brigade in the comment.

Particularly in areas that have very low numbers of female firefighters, taking the only female fire fighter in the area, and holding her up to the media is sometimes lining the female up to be shot (figuratively speaking).

I much prefer to see publicity about the fire service (whichever one it is) which has pictures which show the firefighters, some of which just happen to be women... or a relevant comment from a fire fighter, who just happens to be a female...

In this way, it is less of lining up the females to be shot, makes it more of a normal thing to have a female depicted - no hype, just that there happen to be male & females in the photo / publicity.

Yeah Pip, couldn't agree more.

Offline 5271rescue

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2007, 09:56:19 AM »
I think if you look around the state CFS does have a large number of female firefighters I am sure pip may have the numbers some where,I am all for females and would fully support anyone one male or female that wishes to join. Having said that I am also aware of a number of brigade's who still will not allow females onto the fireground as the OIC of that brigade he feels, females place is in the kitchen or radio room.  So as you can see from day one a female is going to hit the wall until these so called leaders are removed or that other members of the brigade do something.

For the record Naracoorte brigade has 7 female firefighter and all are able and willing to get in there and help,3 have just done BFF1 and are looking forward to a life in the CFS...
blinky bill
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Offline Blaze

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2007, 09:02:36 PM »
Hi all,
 I'm new to the CFS I have only been in for 5 months, since then I have been very welcomed to my brigade and they got me straight stuck into learning the ropes. I even got to go on a strike team to the Mount Bold fire which was a great learning curve.

I luv firefighting! Unfortunately because of work I have to move from the Riverland back to Adelaide. So I'm looking for a new brigade to join :-D
But am looking forward to meeting new fireys!

As a female in the CFS Its been pretty good they put me right where the fire is!
"Put the wet stuff on the hot stuff"

Blaze

Offline Hicksflat14

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2007, 02:09:33 PM »
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Who cares what sex the fire fighters are

Obviously equal opportunity people http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,21285614-2682,00.html

Its because of that that there are programs such as this in government organisations. Without it would there be any fulltime female firefighters in the MFS?
So why not start advertising that the MFS have female firefighters by focusing on the number in Mt Gambier which has more than other stations. If it gets females attention and attracts them to the service (even if they start as retained before moving to fulltime) then im sure it will satisfy the government and those who cry for equal opportunities.

It therefore should be asked that as a female firefighter in the MFS Blue, do you support the removal of this program meaning that you and other females would (if you wanted to become a fulltime firefighter) have to fight for a place against the many hundreds of males that apply for what is a physically demanding job and therefore, in most cases, would make it extremely difficult for women to join and entirely possible that none would "make the grade".

Offline Ryan

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2007, 03:43:28 PM »
people do nto give a damn who rock sup in the truck did ya read the letter from someone in yesterdays paper they wrote in that they did not care if the firefighters that rocked up were anglo saxon, asian, abboriginal, female or green martian.  As long as the job got done. 
-----------------------------------
Basically no one cares. 

Equal Oppurtunity should be just that Im sure if a female could do the job properly she would get in same with asian, abboriginal or martian.  Plenty of Anglo Saxon males fail, MFS has a pass rate of about 8%, if ya good enough ya get in. 

Offline Blue

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2007, 04:11:21 PM »
It therefore should be asked that as a female firefighter in the MFS Blue, do you support the removal of this program meaning that you and other females would (if you wanted to become a fulltime firefighter) have to fight for a place against the many hundreds of males that apply for what is a physically demanding job and therefore, in most cases, would make it extremely difficult for women to join and entirely possible that none would "make the grade".

Very interested in my personal opinions on things aren't you, I should be flattered. Well, the 'equal opportunity people' as you put it are there due to a ground swell of support for equality in our society, and a push for this in government particularly - government, being representative of the people, should be 50/50 gender balanced reflecting our population's statistics, and also involve a reflective percentage of people from other backgrounds, etc. We know this has been difficult to obtain, and the reasons are varied and complex, and sadly a level playing field is not always applied due to personal bias and stereotyping in an application process.

Partly the blame lies with us - it is often a self-imposed glass ceiling, with women believeing they can't do things and generally having less confidence with certain job roles or activities that have been more accepted as masculine endeavours. So not even applying in the first place. The burnt chop syndrome runs riot.

I believe programs such as the one you have brought to our attention are an effort to redress a severe imbalance. I'd say it was based on a directive by government as a whole, and MFS is simply playing its part. The same issues are felt by other specialist employers - look at the airline industry, at a guess I'd say the vast majority of attendants were female, and it has been debated that this is due to height and weight restrictions that simply favour women.

A similar thing could be argued for the MFS - physical capacity is a factor and at the end of the day this may favour males. I would also suggest that the program discussed would still apply the same selection criteria, but perhaps provides extra support in terms of preparation for testing for those minority groups that they would like to see increased in the service. At the end of the day this won't result in a bunch of puny, pudgy or mathematically challenged females and ethnics fighting fires, it simply means that a group of individuals is given a stable platform to work from and hence given the best possible chance of succeeding in an effort to redress the balance.

Offline Hicksflat14

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2007, 03:40:13 PM »
So the people who dont care who's in the uniform are creating a ground swell want to make things more equal by giving some people more assistance than others? Does that makes sense?

Quote
I would also suggest that the program discussed would still apply the same selection criteria, but perhaps provides extra support in terms of preparation for testing for those minority groups that they would like to see increased in the service.

This program involved individuals taking part in physical fitness and being shown firefighting techniques prior to applications being open. Does this not therefore disadvantage the average person (whatever their gender or ethnicity) off the streets whos applying to join whos had no experience in firefighting?
It would be interesting to know if indeed it was the same selection criteria for all.

Offline Blue

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2007, 05:22:02 PM »
This program involved individuals taking part in physical fitness and being shown firefighting techniques prior to applications being open. Does this not therefore disadvantage the average person (whatever their gender or ethnicity) off the streets whos applying to join whos had no experience in firefighting?

Just like applying for any position, if you are really intersted you will go the extra yards. You find out about the organisation, find out about the job, the roles you would undertake, etc etc. So if anyone was keen to be in the MFS, they would know every criteria for selection, they would know they need to be fit, and perhaps would try and do some fire training in any way they can, be that CFS, a warden for their workplace - whatever.

So from what you've said it doesn't sound like an overly huge amount of support - as I said before, simply redressing the imbalance.

Offline Pipster

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Re: Female Firefighters in the Media
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2007, 04:09:36 PM »
Does it actually say in the key selection criteria that applicants must have previous fire - fighting experience?

In the quick look I have had, I can't see that as a key selection criteria....although previous experience is helpful, it is not essential.

And as we all know, there are people around who do have previous fire -fighting experience, but who would not be suitable for the position......

Pip
There are three types of people in the world.  Those that watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

 

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