Female firefighters banned from burning buildings

This one boggles the mind.
A group of female firefighters in Florida have filed a discrimination complaint after they were temporarily banned from entering burning buildings.
The saddest thing about this story? The women weren’t banned from doing their job because of the run-of-the-mill discrimination that assumes women aren’t strong enough to be firefighters.
Fire and Rescue Chief Jamie D. Geer ordered the women to stay away from burning buildings after male firefighters threatened that they wouldn’t protect or help the women should they need it. Nice, huh?
I guess Geer didn’t consider banning the assholes who said they wouldn’t help their colleagues.

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10 Comments

  1. JesusJonesSuperstar
    Posted December 1, 2005 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Do you really think if they measured the average strength of women vs. men on this department over a range of power measurments that it would be even close to equal?
    And is it possible that when in a burning building looking to pull out survivors and possibly needing to back up your fellow fire fighter, this MIGHT be relevent to the safety of everyone involved and getting the job done properly?
    I think the male firefighters are not idiots, they realize this, and made this comment in protest because perhaps they see with their own eyes that lower strenght workers are more dangerous to both themselves and others.
    I think the answer is to determine an objective measure of required strenght for the highest hazard tasks in firefighting, and only allow those who pass, either man or woman, to do those jobs. That may be the solution.

  2. Posted December 1, 2005 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    JJS, do you know many firefighters? Most of them don’t look like the softcore porn calendar models that are generally used to represent firefighters. That is to say, male firefighters aren’t required to be at the pinnacle of physical fitness, but some of them apparently still presume that having any woman around is going to cause them or others danger. It’s not a terrible idea to create standards of physical fitness for the position where they are necessary, but disallowing all women from entering burning buildings is based simply on prejudice.

  3. afire
    Posted December 1, 2005 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    The sad part about the artical and the comment from Jackoff Jones is that the article is misleading and the idiot Jones doesn’t have a clue about what he/she is talking about. The reason the females were in hot water with the guys is because they were going to quit the Union. As a female who is a Union member and a 13 yr. career fire fighter this is not acceptable behavior from anyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are a male or a female you would be treated the same if you chose to be a rat/scab. The Chief was a dumb butt for pulling any of the gals from suppression duties. Let them lay in the bed they made for themselves.
    Now, to address Jackoff Jones, take a look around buddy at the average fire fighter. Maybe 40-50% of the guys on the job are 5’7″ about a 150lbs, average Joes, 40% are smokers that are out of shape and could stroke out at any given time. Heart attack is the LEADING cause of fire fighter deaths. Then you have the 5% that look like your Hollywood boys who can jump buildings in a single bound. Then you have the last 5% of muscle heads who can’t bend over to tie their shoelaces let alone fit into a crashed up car to help the poor sap who’s bleeding out, or can’t crawl around a burning building on thier hands and knees with crap everywhere searching for, god forbid, a victim because of the lack of flexibility and their bulk. If you think fire “men” have something special to offer just because they happen to have a third leg? You really are a sad and uneducated jackoff… It’s assholes like you who give the fire fighters a bad shine. Strength means nothing. Cardio and most of all the dedication to your brother and sister fire fighters is everything.

  4. Posted December 1, 2005 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    My dad was a career firefighter and was fire chief in our small town for several years. My mom became a volunteer because she enjoyed it and to spend more time with dad. She put up with this same kind of shit. And when she got frightened in her first fire, as just about everyone does, it got chalked up to her being female instead of her being human. They tried to extend her probationary period 3x longer than other new firefighters. They tried to keep her from running for office in the volunteers organization. It was wall to wall bullshit for the several years she volunteered, all because they didn’t believe a woman could do it.
    It makes me proud as hell of my mom that she did everything and more, though. Anyone who believes women cannot be on the line and do the job as well as men has not seen her and the other incredible women who serve as firefighters in action. Most of them are in better shape than the men anyway.

  5. CaptDMO
    Posted December 1, 2005 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Hmm.. On one hand, I have to opine
    >”Strength means nothing.”"…. the dedication to your brother and sister fire fighters is everything.”

  6. CaptDMO
    Posted December 1, 2005 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Hmm.. On one hand, I have to opine
    >”Strength means nothing.”"…. the dedication to your brother and sister fire fighters is everything.”

  7. Posted December 3, 2005 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Actually, this story is much more complex and has more twists than the article above provides.

  8. Posted December 3, 2005 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Actually, this story is much more complex and has more twists than the article above provides.

  9. rowanbirch
    Posted December 4, 2005 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I am not going to comment on the whole union/management thing.
    I am going to comment on the archiac, patronizing dehumanizing, demeaning condescending attitude by jackoff. As a firefighter/paramedic for several years on a major metropolitan department, I am give you all an education or as one of the “neck downs” on my squad would say-and edjumication. (neck down is what we would call all brawn types, who actually turned out to be more dangerous than women)
    For the record, strength tests and even those “revelant to the job” tests that are given to firefighters are useless. They don’t measure anything that is remotely important to the job of being a firefighter. All the do is show how fast you can run a mile or how fast a person can call through a maze blindfolded. They are useless tools designed to make people feel better about their firefighters. I often witnessed the slowest maze crawlers be the ones who managed to save their whole crew, and the fastest sprinters almost kill us all because they couldn’t think. No, those tests prove nothing.
    Secondly, I had to openly scoff at your remarks about pulling burning crew members and bodies out of burning buildings. Not one member on my squad-could have dropcarried singlehandly anyone on that squad except for me-because I weighed at my heaviest 108 lbs. As my captain once said to a neck down who said-”but she couldn’t carry anyone of us out of building” The Captain turned around and pointed his finger in his face and said-”yeah, well first off neither could anyone of you, and secondly, she wouldn’t be stupid enough to get herself or her crew caught in such a situation in the first place.”
    AND, that my friend IS how it was. I and women on my department had to be smarter, and better 100% of the time. I never could quit, and had to be the first in and last out. I never could show any emotion, and never was allowed a breakdown of any kind. Every newbie, sub, or transfer, I knew I was going to have prove myself over again to that person, be he man or woman. It went with the terrority of being a woman. Women ended up being better firefighters and better medics, because not only were we FORCED to be better, we were also smarter and could outthink, outmanoever and outreason the men. We weren’t allowed the luxury of giving only 50% or 100% instead we dug down deep and give 250% all the time. Too give anything less would have been thought as being less than.
    I turned out to be tougher, stronger, and better than any one of my crew members. My crowning achievement after a huge 4 alarm fire was lying on the ground in rehab, coats open, heads on helmet and my neck down mysognistic partner passes me a cigarette-(he almost got us killed in a flashover, I got us out) one puff on a cigarette was well earned-and he says-”I’d rather go in with you than any one of these other idiots”. AND, every woman on the department could tell you a similar story, but knowing that tomorrow she will have to prove herself all over again.
    Plus, I usually find people who say things like you jackoff, have never worked on a fire, have never dealt with a 20 car pileup, have never evacusted a building, crawled through a cavein at a tunnel at the construction site. You have never been staring down the barrel of rival gun member as you are trying to save another gangbanger. Usually people making such statements are idiots who have no idea or heard from a friend of a friend’s aunt’s cousin’s dog walker’s beautician’s niece about a female firefighter who blew it. I suggest you go do the job before you think you have the right to pass judgement on who is able to do something or not do something.
    also, one more note, NO firefighter, medic, police or anyone involved in life or death jobs, unless they are pure evil WOULD EVER betray another firefighter, man, woman, dog, or hippotamus. Once the pager goes off, the alarm rings, we are a band of brothers, taking care of each other. This pure survivial because, if you do’t watch out for your partner, or crew, or the guys you are with, there’s a good chance your rate of making it is going to go down. In addition, its a code, and unwritten one, but one that we all take nonetheless. To insinuate that anyone in emergency services would do anything not to live up to that code is insulting to all Emergency Services anywhere.
    I realize, with a name like “jackoff” this is probably a troll, and I am wasting my time and energy writing here and feeding jackoff’s twisted needs, but nonetheless, I felt compelled to write the truth as I see it.

  10. Melissa Frey
    Posted April 21, 2006 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Well that story is just crap, a firefighter is a firefigther no mater male or female. my great grandfater, grandfater, father, brother and myself have all been a part of the fire department. when i joined at age 17, the only guys that had a problem withme joining were the old guys. the ones that grew up with the women keeping house. what happened? i pushed through the shit and i am the only female left in my department, the others couldnt cut it. to be a fireifghter is the greatest thing i have ever done. my brothers in my departrment have know me since i was born, they know i would back them up so they do the same, it is a brotherhood its a family. i like to be one of the guys.i can do everything they can do check me on it.
    Ladies keep pushing for what you want and what you diserve. My father, brother and myself are at every call together and i dont get harasated by them or my cheifs. we are usually fighting for 1st due.
    keep your heart set on the prize!

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