Fire and Rescue NSW will aim to achieve fair and equitable practices in all areas of employment including recruitment, selection and promotion which are open, competitive and based on merit and we aim to ensure that our workplaces are free from all forms of discrimination.
Fire and Rescue NSW have confirmed that gender is now an important part of the selection criteria. Firefighters expect, although not yet confirmed, that this year a quota of 30% will apply for female recruits, the same as the previous 2 years. The trouble is that the average percentage of female applicants over the last few years is around 10%.
The selection process is so highly geared towards females it is impossible to hide, and many firefighters believe that attempts to hide the fact questions the integrity of management. Firefighters and the public are being treated like fools.
As mentioned previously many applicants are cheating in their exams and management are well aware of it. This cannot be allowed to continue and needs to be urgently investigated. The scores also appear to be meaningless as the mark required to move onto the next stage varies greatly depending on gender. The physical aptitude test has been made easier to ensure that quotas can be reached, yet there were over 6000 males last year who were not even given the chance to attempt the Physical. On past percentages at least 4000 would have passed, and that would be prior to the reduction in fitness standards.
Over the past few decades Fire and Rescue NSW has always employed the best by merit, and the best has always included females. Unfortunately, and due mostly to the fact that females chose not to apply to be firefighters, the number of female firefighters is lower than it should be, well according to politicians anyway, yet the figures are on par or better than every other fire service in the world. A shameful display of stupidity with no upside. The risks are just to great.
The public have a right to the best firefighter available, male or female, each and every time. That should not be negotiable.