Fire service (UK) diversifies uniforms

Report here on how the fire service has recently introduced new uniforms. A good example of how small-  although crucial! – aspects of jobs can serve to make certain professions unappealing to those who don’t fit the ‘white male’  paradigm, and how this can be changed to move towards more inclusive workforces.

They will fit better, look more professional and, crucially, protect the wearer more efficiently from heat and flames, says the government. But the new firefighters‘ uniforms unveiled yesterday have another notable feature, being designed for the first time “for a modern, diverse workforce” – including hijab and turban versions, as well as maternity uniforms for pregnant female staff.

“We want the widest range of applicants to join the fire and rescue service,” the fire minister, Sadiq Khan, said yesterday. “It is important that all applicants know that the uniform and clothing they will be issued with will not only protect them, but will also fit properly and be comfortable.

Sounds a damn sight more practical (and protective) than this (a pretty fantastic photo though)!

Firefighter uniforms: 1926: A member of the Achille Serre Ladies Fire Brigade in London (From the Guardian pictures: a member of Achille Serra Ladies London Firebrigade in London)

11 thoughts on “Fire service (UK) diversifies uniforms

  1. Excellent news! And what a truly fabulous photo. I want one of those outfits. Maybe all the FP bloggers should wear them while we blog.

  2. At first I didn’t realize that that was a female fire-fighter. I thought that the British fire departments had the fire-fighters dress up like Robin Hood. That’s probably not practical, but would be a lot of fun.

  3. Stoat, I’m in awe of your choice of pictures! I think this is your second best, and I’d link to the first if it weren’t already one of the very top posts we’ve ever had.

    The curious can search for it under – sigh! – “spanking.”

  4. You know, there’s an interesting similarity between the two photos now that you mention it.

  5. Nice observation, Jender! Once again I’m so glad I’ve forsworn Freudian accounts, since it would be tedious to try to analyze Stoat’s use of dominatrix images.

  6. Hi there,

    Just came across this photo randomly on the web. Fantastic. I have a question (not an attempt at being controversial). If your in a burning building and the person coming up the ladder to you is a very light woman who got the job based on gender rather than physical ability would your feminist philosophy be sorely tested. I am honestly not trying to stir things up but as a firefighter myself I find it very frustrating having to carry most of the ladder myself with a lot (not all women) I work with.

  7. Last I heard, firefighters don’t get the job based on gender. They get the job by passing a series of tests – both physical and written. What our ‘feminist philosophy’ states is that if women can pass those tests and do the job, then they should be allowed to enter the fire service.

  8. Response to Gaz…I’ve seen some women who clear six feet AND could bench-press you. :) Once upon a time, the standards for firefighters required them to be over 6′, not to disallow women, but to disallow anyone who wasn’t a healthy, cornfed Caucasian of European (mostly British/Irish/Scots) descent. Go figure.

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