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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