The following is from an interview I did with a Christian fireman.
“I spent two years in the training division of a large metro department. Our Chief at the time was an openly gay female. The things I could tell you would make you cringe. The fire service ain’t what it used to be….and firemen are not fireMEN anymore either. Don’t let them tell you that women (as a general rule) can do the job because they simply cannot.
My background in this, and why I say that I’ve seen behind the curtain, is that I coordinated a recruit school when I was in our training division. I have all the documentation in the event that I ever have to defend my claims but what I experienced as a seasoned fire officer was unbelievable….really…picture the worst you can think of….it was even worse than that.
My experience was that, generally speaking as there ARE women who can do the job just as there are men who can’t, is that first of all women lack the physical strength to do the job. I saw male recruits helping them out in clandestine ways i.e. putting their foot on the back of the hose in order to enable them to hold it instead of being pushed to the ground by it. I’ve been on the roof of an apartment building watching a female recruit ‘attempt’ to open a roof with an ax AND a chainsaw and it wouldn’t have mattered if that roof decking had been wet cardboard…she WASN’T getting through it. I’ve seen male recruits have to single-handedly remove heavy rescue dummies from the burn building because the woman they were teamed up with was doing her best to get herself out. That’s amusing during training…but not when you’re on the attack team in an attic that is about to flash over because she can’t open it or an engine officer waiting at the front door for an attack hose that ain’t going to get there unless you go pull it yourself. We also has issues with emotions. Everyone gets butterflies and anxiety of heights and darkness and smoke but we had women that we needed to spend extended periods with because they were so worked up before some sort of exercise or having to climb an aerial ladder. Those are the sorts of things we had to deal with. Those issue continued in the field as well. As the training Lieutenant you’re always going to hear stories from the field about the recruits you trained.
I was naive honestly. Before I went to training I thought that the standards were already set and surely the people coming out of our recruit schools; men, women, black, white, gay, straight…whatever…were capable of doing the job.
Unfortunatley I found out that ‘diversity’ was more important than competence or ability and it didn’t matter what happened they were going to pass everyone. This goes the same with the police at our department as well.
I told the Chief once that I realized that I could document (performance deficiencies in recruits) until my fingers bled and nothing was going to be done about it.