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U.S. Fire Administration has released an 80-page guide called Emerging Health and Safety Issues Among Women in the Fire Service with resources and recommendations that address long-term and emerging health and safety issues faced by female firefighters and EMS responders.
Back in 1993, the USFA published “A Handbook on Women in Firefighting: The Changing Face of the Fire Service” to address issues of a gender-integrated workforce. Following the publication of the 1993 handbook, concerns arose pertaining to health and safety issues among women in the fire service. Subsequently, the USFA convened a symposium in 1994 to identify these issues and create recommendations for action.
Almost 25 years later, the recommendations made by the task force at the symposium are still relevant. In fact, many are just now starting to be investigated or resolved, and others have yet to be initiated or instituted. From not feeling welcome in a male-dominated profession to ill-fitting equipment to reproductive concerns, there is still a lot of work to do.
The Emerging Health and Safety Issues Among Women in the Fire Service guide serves as a status check on long-term and emerging issues of health and safety for women in the fire service, and makes recommendations for improving the fire service for all personnel.