Women in firefighting
Announcement on diversity and women in firefighting issue to NSW firefighters and FBEU members.
It caused significant discussion (and criticism) at fire stations and online.
The FBEU has a proud record on the question of women in our industry stretching well beyond our support for the then-NSWFB Chief Officer, Rex Threlfo (himself a former FBEU President) in the re-introduction of women into the job in 1985. I say “re-introduction”, because hundreds of women actually served in the NSWFB’s Women’s Fire Auxilliary (WFA) during WW2. Then-Union Secretary, Jim Lambert challenged sceptical “firemen” in the Union’s December 1944 journal, rhetorically asking “Do you know that women carried out watchroom jobs in London during the blitz?”.
It should therefore surprise nobody that the Union today supported Commissioner Mullins (also a former FBEU official) when he announced “changes to the fire service’s highly competitive permanent firefighter recruitment campaign in a bid to ensure more women get the chance to join its firefighting ranks.” Click here for a copy of today’s FBEU and FRNSW media releases.
The Union’s progressive stance on women in our industry has always placed us on the right side of history and while not all members will agree, today’s stance will come to be seen in the same light.
President and Acting State Secretary
Fire Brigade Employees’ Union