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  • Women in the Firehouse

    I am the only female on a fire dept. (Engineer on the first out pumper as well) of about 40 active members. The guys treat me with respect, I do my job, and there are no problems. What 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. Take care and please be safe out there.

  • #2
    Hellz yeah! I've seen women fire fighters that do better than some of the male ff's around. i say, if they do what is expected without being concerened about breaking a nail (not saying all women are like that) than c'mon in. i went through firefighter I with six female ff's. five of them i'd have back me on the line before i let half the rest of the class come near me. Peace!

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    Matt
    Newtown Fire Association
    Station 45

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    • #3
      Check out the Women in Emergency Services Forum for more info...

      I belong to a fire department and a rescue squad.

      I'm the only female in my fire department, but I don't have a problem with the guys. Not all of them are thrilled about having a female around, but they are willing to give me a chance.

      At the rescue squad it's basically the same story. A lot of men grow up thinking women aren't equal or need to be taken care of and need to have it conditioned out of them. It takes time but it works eventually.

      The key to it all is doing the job. Not every woman can do every job, but niether can every man. As long as we show our worth and willingness to play on an even field we'll do fine. It's when women expect special favors or allowances that we run into trouble. Standards must be the same for any of us to have credibility.

      ------------------
      Susan Bednar
      Forsyth Rescue Squad (Chief)
      NCTF-1
      Griffith Volunteer FD

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      • #4
        It is so great to hear from a guy that appreciates what women can offer to the fire service, and to hear from a woman who knows first hand the difficulties of being a fire fighter. I count myself blessed that my department is very modern in their thinking and that they allow me to do my job and that they support me 100%. Keep the posts coming! Take care. :-P

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        • #5
          There are a few females in our dept., most of whom are associate members (don't go out & throw water) with only one I can think of right off the top of my head who is an active member.
          I have no problem with having female FF's in the dept. Just like any guy, as long as you pull your own weight, welcome aboard! I've taught her a few things, and she had taught me a few as well, so it's been a mutually beneficial friendship. I know that some of the guys don't like her, for various reasons, but I don't let their feelings effect how I personally feel, or how I treat her.
          And like one of the other posters said earlier about his experience with the ladies, I'd sooner follow her through the door, than some of the guys. So....

          Just my thoughts! :-)
          Jerry

          ------------------
          HazMat
          ---
          We gotta be nuts...we're running in when the rats & roaches are running out!
          ---
          Disclaimer:
          These are my opinions, and only mine, and do not reflect the views of my department.
          ---
          Let No Victim's Ghost Say That We Didn't Try

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          • #6
            I don't care who's behind the mask, as long as they pull their weight.

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            • #7
              We had a number of women in the dept over the years. We have 3 female FF in my dept. 2 active, 1 still a trainee. One says she gets more grief from the wives of the other FF. Respect is earned wether your male or female, and the 2 active female FF have the respect of the all other FF.

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              • #8
                I think in most places females are accepted as long as they are squared away. I have noticed that they will be talked about more negatively if they are viewed as being non-productive compared to a male whose performance is equally lackluster. Women still have a tougher time and are scrutinized more than men are in historically male professions. In this county, where aggressiveness is a trait a firefighter needs to have, there are some places that would be A LOT more reluctant to have a female among their ranks than others. Long held feelings are hard to let go of. Take care and be safe.

                ------------------
                Phil Clinard
                Laurel VFD
                Prince George's Co Sta 10
                Laurel, MD
                www.laurelvfd.org

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                • #9
                  Good for you! I'm the first female Firefighter-type employee on my department (I'm an Explorer) This department has a reputation for being somewhat anti-woman, but now that I've been on for a while I've found out who the trouble makers are and I just make sure they know I can kick their @$$#$, and that if I can't, my brothers (both FF's and siblings) will. My question- We only have one locker room and one of those municipal showers, and what with the teenage guys there too...well, I thought of using the police HQ across the street (with separate lockers)

                  Althea

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                  • #10
                    Never had a problem with anyone, women included, who pulled their weight and got the job done. More than once was on a crew that included a female and had no problem.

                    To Ford 45: You don't have to look to far to see the best female F/F I've ever worked with.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Althea Forhan:
                      My question- We only have one locker room and one of those municipal showers, and what with the teenage guys there too...
                      Althea
                      Althea, our dept had communal bunking until a few years back. The bathrooms were seperate, but all of the FFs bunked together and the EMS types (shared station) bunked together. Finally, (before I showed up) they split everything up into seperate rooms, male and female, FF & EMS. A lot cozier for each of the crews now (max of 8 in our room), but more privacy. (We still wear shorts to bed, in case I have to walk down the hall to the bathroom.)

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                      • #12
                        There have been female firefighters in our station since the late 1970s and female engineers since the mid-1980s. I've never understood what all the fuss is about.

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                        • #13
                          WOW! It is great to see so many positive comments about female fire fighters! This is wonderful. I think women should be encouraged to join this predominantly male profession, and should also be encouraged to speak their minds and have a take charge attitude. I have seen some women forced out of departments for being so "aggressive". I think it is sad to see, because it is sending a very negative message to young women out there....if you are aggressive, and speak your mind then you are not wanted as a part of our organization. Several of the guys on my department are going to a career night at two local high schools with me to encourage new members (including girls) to join our department. I count myself lucky to know and work with these guys.

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                          • #14
                            I know of a female from a Department close to mine, which is a real Old Men's Club, you know the ti!!y pictures on the walls, Playboys in the bathroom, Beer from the Soda Machine. Everything most of us are against. Well I had the opportunity to train with her at the Academy, so I figured I would let her take the lead and I would hump the hose for her.....Right! She drug my *** around like a rag doll!MOre aggressive and smarter than most of the Guys I work with, (remember I'm a Truck Officer!)Anyway, this female firefighter makes the Rank of Fire Lieutenant in this Department, which is unheard of!The guys gave her a little grief, but she layed the smackdown, showed them what she's made of, and they shut their ugly , fat mouths. I was so impresssed by her that I married her. So no, I aint got no problems with a female firefighter.

                            ------------------
                            FTM - PTB

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                            • #15
                              hey, ac52! i'll make sure i tell her that! peace.

                              ------------------
                              Matt
                              Newtown Fire Association
                              Station 45

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