‘Women don’t have what it takes to be firefighters’
THE FIRE Service wants to curb the hiring of female firefighters to maintain its level of effectiveness in putting out fires.
Fire Service acting chief Marcos Trangolas was quoted in yesterday’s Phileleftheros saying that he wanted to limit the number of women hired in the service as they did not meet the physical requirements to do the job.
According to the report, 64 women are currently serving in the fire service, from which only a few are ever sent to the front line of a fire fight.
Meanwhile, 174 firefighters are aged between 51 and 60, while another 100 are sitting behind desks.
Concerned about maintaining the effectiveness of the service, Trangolas raised the issue with the Justice Ministry in a letter sent to the permanent secretary requesting discussion on ways to amend existing regulations on hiring women to the service.
Speaking to Phileleftheros, he said that the hiring process is the same for the fire service as it is for the police but that the duties of its members were different to that of the police force.
He maintained that abroad, candidate firefighters have to meet certain criteria, including relating to their physical condition.
The fire service would like to implement a system of checks on the physical condition of candidates as well as of active members to get a better picture of who they can send to actually fight fires.
According to Trangolas, a firefighter must be able to carry 33 kilos of weight, which is the total burden of carrying the uniform, helmet, oxygen and shoes to fight fires in apartment blocks.
Another reason to carry out regular tests on members’ physical conditions is the fact that the biggest health problem faced in the service is heart attacks.
A meeting is expected to be held next week to discuss the issue and take final decisions.
Trangolas maintained that reducing the number of women hired was not discrimination, since the mission of a firefighter demanded they be in top physical condition.
(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.