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Very few women opt for firefighting

The number of women who are in the operational side of Fire Services in the country can virtually be counted on fingers, reports Satyen Mohapatra.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2010 20:20 IST
Satyen Mohapatra

Women today are in many high-risk jobs including defence and para military, but are hardly to be seen battling a raging fire.

The number of women who are in the operational side of Fire Services in the country can virtually be counted on fingers.

Director Delhi Fire Service RC Sharma said, " There are only four women Fire Officers who have passed from the National Fire Service College in Nagpur. The Delhi Fire Service has not a single woman fire officer though we have women in the Communication wing and other areas."

The Delhi Fire Service has a strength of 4,000 which includes 200 officers.

There is no restriction on women to apply but we have not received any application, he said.

We are now in the process of changing the recruitment rules of firemen which till date did not have physical qualifications required from women for the job, Sharma added.

There is a feeling that it is job which may be difficult for a woman particularly rescuing victims from upper floors on a ladder, he added.

Rescue Management expert Angeli Qwatra said, " Many women may not be applying for the job because of the mind set that it poses greater and more imminent daily risk to their body and beauty. There is a chance of their hair and skin getting burnt."

Renowned Psychologist, Dr Aruna Broota says that it is the mindset of men in the selection committees who do not want to employ women where they have to climb ropes and carry heavy water hoses.

Women are also not getting into fire service because they do not find it a lucrative job, she added.

"Fire Department also does not market itself, once it does so there will be many women takers,"she said.

Clinical Psychologist Dr S. Kumar said "Women are definitely conscious of their looks and it is a primary concern when taking up a job like fire service. Secondly, woman has to carry the family along and their approval is unlikely for a job in the fire service."