Blue or Yellow

It all started with a push from the NSW Rural Fire Service to change from the blue shirt to a yellow shirt back in 2009.

An article titled “Female firefighters in wet T-Shirt row, joined Facebook petition to get new shirts” was published in the Daily Telegraph on October 19, 2009 by Gemma Jones. Click HERE to have a look at that article.

Some key points in the article were:

  • Female firefighters have complained the new yellow shirts become see-through when wet.
  • A large number of volunteers petitioned to object to the issuing of the bright yellow shirts to replace existing navy blue ones.
  • Ms Melinda Pavey, Member for Oxley (NSW Nationals) said the shirts were issued to firefighters without consultation.
  • Firefighters comparing the new all yellow look to the yellow member of the The Wiggles.
  • Another firefighter wrote: The yellow life saver shirts are bloody ugly.

The NSW RFS made the following statements:

The colour yellow has been used due to its high visibility

Also… During independent testing in Alberta, Canada…

it has been identified that the blue coloured clothing absorbs more heat

Why then… do we now see a move towards blue pants?

This is not anything new, volunteers have picked up on this conflicting argument when the blue pants were originally rolled out.

This issue is further evidence that the NSW Rural Fire Service does whatever it wants without sufficient consultation.

One Reply to “Blue or Yellow”

  1. It seems irrelevant if Blue shirts absorb more heat or otherwise…. They are not, nor were they ever intended as PPE and weren’t intended for the fireline. Yellows looks very ordinary once the stains appear and it is impossible to maintain them in a neat and clean condition.
    I regard the blue shirts/trousers as a smart Drill/Training/Station/PR dress and one that can also be worn as formal dress by volunteers particularly seeing many of us do not possess nor desire to wear a White Uniform. Most Brigades/Districts cannot justify issue or afford to issue yellows solely for use at official functions and member funerals. When used gear is worn it presents as scruffy, compared with others. I personally prefer to wear civvies because of this.
    It is interesting to note that other emergency services have now changed from traditional uniform dress to navy blue.

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