Actually - that's not fair. The firefighters might just have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
|Subject: i am a heretic|
Posted Apr 20, 2012 by KB
This is a reply to this Posting.
I'm reluctant to comment on what the firefighters think; for one thing, I'd be surprised if they have only one opinion between them. But mostly because I suspect Xanatic is closer than he realises to the politicians he criticises for passing laws about rescue services without doing the job, and I don't want to be a hurler on the ditch.
Some twenty years ago when I did Emergency and Rescue Medicine as part of my training a day was spent at the local fire station. I still remember the Fire Captain telling us that the most important qualification for a firefighter was that he was not too smart. 'cause smart men would never go into a fire and rescue others...
Needless to say the Fire Captain was not pro female firefighters. To much fuzz with separate showers and bathrooms...
Personally I don't give a fraking damn about gender, ethnicity etc. What matters are that people are qualified for what they do, firefighters, plumbers, doctors, cooks and whatever.
"Is the US military ready for women on the frontline?As the marines open up more roles, It's clear that women are fit for combat – the question is whether the system is fit for them"
I though this reply in the comments particularly pertinent to this discussion:
"Well gender neutral physical tests are practical tests of ability to complete tasks. ie objective tests. The fire brigade only used to have men because they may have to carry the unconscious 14 stone man from a burning building down a ladder. The test they had for this was that the person was a "A Man" because men could do this.
The gender neutral test is to see who can actually do this task. Who can actually climb that ladder in the breathing kit. Get inside the building, find the victim and get them out and down the ladder to safety. If you can do it you can do it. If you can't you can't. That's a gender neutral test."
In fairness...the Swedish test that Xan mentioned is at least a strength test. The point about that, though, was that it was a super-elite test that was unrelated to job demands. It was merely coincidental (one assumes) that those most likely to pass it would be men.
I might go by the local firestation in a few days, ask them personally how they see the issue there.
You do that.
Will it be your first fire station?
Ehh, I lived a few houses down from one for about 20 years. Does that count?
No as much as having worked with firefighters.
Be sure and ask the female ones their opinion too!
Because female firefighters wouldn't be biased?
Not at all!
But you'll want a range of opinion, just in case of bias. One danger might be what a social scientist might call 'A Self-Selecting Sample'. Imagine some bloke turns up off the street wanting to ask about the performance of female firefighters. My guess is that he's attract an audience with strong opinions on one side or the other.
I admire your tenacity, I have to say. You're really going the extra mile to unearth a misguided liberal plot.
Well who knows, I might find myself in a burning building one day needing rescue.
And all the evidence suggests that a suitably qualified female firefighter will be able to do it.
I really am surprised at you being swept along by a political tide like this.
Indeed, and if I thought they would only hire women who were suitably qualified, I wouldn't be complaining.
OK. But be clear that your starting point was a misunderstanding about what 'lowering standards' meant.
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