Some recent feedback suggested that the VFFA should take a look at our Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) to see if it is suitable for our female firefighters.
Initial discussions with some of the ladies in my patch (The Monaro Team) indicated that our female firefighters like the two piece firefighting PPC. They all agreed that overalls, as used by many of the blokes (no longer available) would not be popular with the ladies.
But the question remains:
Is there more that the RFS could do to take care of their female firefighters in terms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and PPC?
Survey of SA Country Fire Service – Women Volunteers
A survey of women volunteers in the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) was undertaken in late 2005, suggesting the following:
Review and improve the provision of personal protective clothing (including footwear) for women volunteers.
The current CFS system (2006) in which there is one universal sizing system, which in reality is a male body shape sizing system needs to be abandoned, as was done long ago in the armed forces and the police.
There should be two sizing and fitting systems for PPC, one for male body shapes and one for female body shapes.
Feel free to add a comment (below) or send us an email.
But wait there’s more… what about toilet and hygiene systems for our female firefighters? Watch this space.
In response to a recent email I feel it is important to comment about female’s PPC.
I have found that the PPC that we are to wear, quite ill-fitting. Women have hips and thighs that are curvy and the pants are a big problem. If you get them to fit through the hips, the length from waist to crotch is too long, dropping the crotch down too low. You then have to hike up the pants to climb up into the truck or step over logs, etc. I also find the cut of the thighs too snug.
The other major problem is the length of the sleeves and pant legs. They are way too long for women. Also the for the jacket to fit around the stomach properly and fasten securely, the shoulders are hugely oversized.
Womens’ bodies and mens’ bodies are completely different (thank goodness) but what a disadvantage for women to have to wear mens clothing.
Someone should redesign the PPC with women in mind.