We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Special Challenges Are Faced by a Female Firefighter?

Alex Tree
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A female firefighter could face the challenge of having protective gear made for men and experiencing gender discrimination or sexual harassment. In addition, it is difficult for women to meet the weight-lifting challenges set by many fire departments, a challenge many men fail each year. Getting protective gear that fits is a major issue, because a lot of firefighting gear is designed with the majority of users in mind, which are typically men. Gender discrimination and sexual harassment occur both accidentally and on purpose, sometimes making the workplace of a female firefighter a hostile and abusive place.

Protective gear is an important part of being a firefighter. A female firefighter usually cannot wear gear designed for men, though, because women tend to be slighter of build and shaped differently. It is also not an option to wear very ill-fitting protective gear because this may increase the likelihood of severe burns or even death. Poorly fitted gloves, boots, and coats are some challenges female firefighters report. A woman sometimes cannot reach certain pockets or hooks and may struggle to keep her face piece in the correct position.

Firefighting was once a field solely for men, but more women join as time passes and stereotypes are forgotten or put aside. Still, surveys indicate that women are denied promotions or training based on their gender. For example, one survey polled nearly 250 women, and 45 percent responded that they were treated differently and denied opportunities given to their male counterparts at least once. About half of the 45 percent stated that the problem is ongoing. The importance of gender equality tends to differ by region, however, so problems such as these may happen more or less often depending on location.

Reports of sexual harassment occur more frequently for female firefighters than men. For example, one survey observed that 88 percent of more than 500 female firefighters stated that they had experienced sexual harassment. Some events the survey polled for were not illegal, but still usually not acceptable by other workplace standards. Others include typically illegal acts such as unwelcome physical contact and demands and blackmail for sexual favors.

Lifting and pulling heavy objects is yet another special challenge usually faced by a female firefighter. A potential female firefighter can train for months and still not achieve the muscle needed to run in extremely heavy gear, lift special firefighting ladders, and do 75 push-ups on a bad day. The bulkiest men sometimes drop out of firefighting training programs due to how difficult they are. Weight restrictions make it even harder for women because they can sometimes require a potential female firefighter to gain weight in muscle.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and Practical Adult Insights contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Discussion Comments
Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and Practical Adult Insights contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.