Women don't belong in the fire service ?

Women lack the upper body strength to pull a person from a burning building. They have trouble throwing ladders and starting saws. An interesting observation but is it true. The question I hear the most from folks voicing their opinion is this “Do you think a woman can pull you from a burning building?” Here’s my answer. I don’t know for sure. But I’m not sure many men could ether. I weigh 210 lbs. If I’m wearing my Turnout gear & SCBA I don’t think many men firefighters could by them self. But what I do know for sure, be it a man or a woman I do know the firefighters I work with will get me out. And if it happens to be a woman, I know she will get me out. Because the women I work with have the most important tools to get me out. Heart, desire and the common sense and a git r done attitude. It helps that most women in our department make a better than average attempt to stay in shape. I can’t say that about a lot of the men I work with. We all learn the techniques to drag and carry people by ourselves, throw ladders and run saws. But after making it through the initial physical agility test and fire training we just don’t do it that often. There is a reason we work as companies to get a lot of these things done. If any of us find ourselves having to do it alone I’m sure we will find a way to get the job done. So do women belong in the fire service? Just like men, only the ones with a desire to do the job. Partner me up with a woman with heart & tenacity (and I’ll try to keep up) over a big strong guy that lacks the courage or the heart to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

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Comment by Dustin J. Millis on May 12, 2008 at 2:17pm
I cannot agree more, I will take a woman with heart and courage over a man that doesnt try his hardest any day.
Comment by Becca on May 10, 2008 at 6:43pm
I tend to agree with Christina and Chasefire on both things said yes the puppy is a real turnon, a man with heart. Yes it is true women generally don't have the same strength as men but we do have the desire. Women also will find other ways to get the job done. We will always have to prove ourselves no matter what but I think the women in the fireservice that are there for the right reason will have no problems it is the male dinosaurs that will have to suck it up and deal with it or get out.
Comment by Christina on March 19, 2008 at 11:33pm
I must say that if I can lift a 500# woman and stuff her in the back of a rig i have some upper body strength *giggle*
Comment by Chasefire on February 3, 2008 at 9:16pm
Siren- What kissing a puppy wasn't enough?
Comment by chris liles on February 3, 2008 at 3:21pm
im not big at all but i know if i was down a female firefighter would do just as much as a guy could so i dont wanna hear people sayin they cant they can do everything we can and more
Comment by Mick Mayers on February 3, 2008 at 11:58am
I was going to say much of what FASNY said. I don't generalize; I know of men who can't do the job and women who are better than a lot of men on the job. I just want the best. Period. Other than that, what FASNY said. Good points.
Comment by Mary Ellen Shea on February 3, 2008 at 11:22am
Regardless of gender, physical fitness is critical to the safety of responding firefighters. Paid departments have weight and fitness requirements; why doesn't the same hold true for volunteers?

Are the volunteer departments afraid to throw down that gauntlet for fear that perhaps their recruitment numbers will drop if an interested candidate can't meet the physical requirements?

Guess what...the recruitment numbers are dropping anyway, so why not go after a quality candidate vs. one who simply may not be able to do the job properly because they're out of shape.

Getting past the ability to do the job for a moment, how about the fact that a first responder who doesn't adhere to some sort of regular fitness routine is a danger on the scene due to the heightened possibility of cardiac arrest or stroke brought on by the physical challenges that are an inherent part of the job.

Do you want to be the one being carried out by your fellow firefighters? Put down the doughnut and pick up a weight. It doesn't take much of a time commitment to get in and stay in shape. 30 minutes three to four times a week is enough to increase your vascular and cardio fitness levels.

Complaining that you can't afford a gym membership? You've got two feet; put some running shoes on and run around your neighborhood. If you can't run, then walk.

Be the best firefighter you can be....and that means keeping your brain sharp with learning something new every day and by staying safe by keeping up with department training, and keeping your body in shape. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your department.
Comment by Chris Scherzer on February 3, 2008 at 10:30am
I'm not a big guy myself and certainly don't consider myself to have "alot" of upper body strength, so I agree that gender shouldn't even play part of who "deserves" to be in the fire service. Let me tell you when you need someone to get in the attic space, it isn't Bubba the bodybuilder they're calling for, its my skinny ass.
This is not to say that physical fitness is not needed, heavens know i should put more time in at the gym.
I gotta agree with Bob, to many times are people criticizing others while overlooking their own weaknesses. I would rather work with a smart firefighter than just a strong one.
Comment by Bob Kinne on February 3, 2008 at 9:47am
WOW ... talk about hitting the old nail squarely on the head ! Over the years I've known too many guys who constantly make excuses for their own ineptitudes and then turn around and criticize a woman firefighter who has twice the heart and three times the balls that they do.

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