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October 28, 2017 12:44 am

P.G.’s First Female Firefighter

Friday, January 15, 2016 @ 3:54 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The City of Prince George has been preparing for this day,  and it has arrived.

Kaitlyn Gordon  will  be in the history books as the first female firefighter with  Prince George Fire and Rescue.

She  has been with  P.G. Fire Rescue since  late September,  but isn’t a full fledged  member of the team yet.   Ms. Gordon  is still undergoing her  one year of probation, which is a requirement for all  newcomers.

Although  250News has  requested an opportunity to sit down with  this ground breaking  woman,  she has declined  all media interviews.

The City has  been preparing for the arrival of female firefighters with the  addition of  new  gender  appropriate washrooms  in the firehalls.


Good for her. Some people don’t want to be a spokesperson, they just want to live their lives.

The City has been preparing for the arrival of female firefighters with the addition of new gender appropriate washrooms in the firehalls.


LOL, Gender appropriate washrooms? WTF? CNC has Gender Neutral Washrooms but I’ve never seen Gender Appropriate ones. I wonder what that entails?

Gender appropriate is easy. They now have separate washrooms for men and women. That’s a requirement for almost all facilities.
Gender neutral washrooms at CNC? A lot of taxpayer money spent for the sake of spending. Like there’s faculty and students attending that can’t read ‘Men’ or ‘Women’ on door labels? There are only 2 sexes and if you’re not sure what you are just ask somebody…

Gender neutral washrooms provide safety for the individual user and will become more common in public places. Since the ‘solo’ washroom was already established, I believe the only cost in creating a gender neutral washroom at CNC was the cost of a sign change from Wheelchair Access (or something similar) to Gender Neutral Washroom with symbols for baby changing as well. Good job CNC for leading the way.

Because Its 2016!

Our 1st female firefighter? Took long enough! I am sure that she will do well in her new job. To be the “first” probably means that she had to exceed the standard that most are held to, and has been intensely scrutinized in order to get where she is. Wishing you the best! I wouldnt be granting interview requests either. You dont owe that to anyone, just go and do a good job… that is all I would expect.

Posted on Friday, January 15, 2016 @ 7:45 AM by kayak with a score of 1

Gender neutral washrooms provide safety for the individual user and will become more common in public places. Since the ‘solo’ washroom was already established, I believe the only cost in creating a gender neutral washroom at CNC was the cost of a sign change from Wheelchair Access (or something similar) to Gender Neutral Washroom with symbols for baby changing as well. Good job CNC for leading the way.


It was more a case of political correctness gone absurd. Someone objected to them being called “Family washrooms” and forced the PC change.


I have talked to various FF about this, main concern is strength and size. If they get injured inside a building, their lives depend on someone being able to drag them out. The question is, will a 50 year old woman be able to drag a 200+lb weight out of a hazardous area? Some young fit women are able, but, FF isn’t a few year gig, it is a longterm career.

porter posted: “will a 50 year old woman be able to drag a 200+lb weight out of a hazardous area”

By that time she will be fire chief and won’t have to do that.

This, of course, brings me to asking what is done over the years of ANY firefighter with respect to ensuring that they still meet those requirements? Further to that, what happens when they do not meet those requirements? Do they get other job duties or get laid off because they do not meet the requirements?

One could speculate that she could be chief, but, there are limited numbers of chiefs and captians, not everyone can have that title, have to plan for the ability to do regular duties. As for fitness standards, apparently, that has been blocked by the union. If they had regular testing there would be no gender issues. However, since they don’t, one average a middle age man is going to be physically stronger than a middle aged woman. It isn’t being a bigot or sexist, is it simple anatomy and physiology.

I did not read anywhere that she was average. In fact, even male firefighters may not be average, most certainly not compared to 50 year olds these days.

You introduced average. Why?

As far as firechief and captains go, there are many of those. Just look up the over $100,000 salaried firefighters and you will find them all there.

I do not know Ms Gordon, but I suspect the probability of her moving up the ranks are better than her male counterparts. That is the reason I wrote my prediction.

Not meant as a slight. However, since there are no ongoing fitness standards (that I am aware of, I could be wrong), there is no requirement for anyone to be above average or exemplary. So for planning purposes, since you have no way to force anything else, using average makes the most sense.

If for discussion purposes you want to say above average I am fine with that. I know VERY fit, above average women, who at the height of fitness, would be unlikely to get me out of a hazard situation quickly if I was unable to assist.

“Do they get other job duties or get laid off because they do not meet the requirements?” .. Well the way public employee unions work, they would probably get put on disability and get full pay for at least 6 months and then be reevaluated.

I dont think that there are very many firefighters of any gender that can single-handedly pack a full size, unresponsive adult male out of a burning building while also encombered with their heavy suits and gear. The reality of it is that firefighters work as a team to save lives AND hopefully not hurt themselves in the process. You dont need to be superhuman to save lives. Knowledge and training are more useful than sheer braun.
I salute all those first responders :fire/ambulance/police and S.A.R who choose this as their profession (male or female). You dont need to look like Hercules to save a life.

You dont need to look like Hercules to save a life.

That is true but one needs the ability to haul heavy equipment around. There are also many men who do not make the cut.

Good for this lady to refuse interviews, she seems to have head on her shoulders and just wants to get on with the job with no fuss.

I cannot find a Canadian or BC standard fitness test for municipal firefighters. WorkSafeBC also is silent on that other than the general notation for all workers to be trained to the standards of the job.

BC Wildfire Service, however, does have a fitness test.

source = bcwildfire.com/Employment/FireFighter/fitness.htm

There is also an NFPA standard for firefighter fitness. Canada generally adopts NFPA standards when there is no Canadian standard. NFPA standard 1583 – Standard fro health related fitness programs for fire department members.

source = nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages?mode=code&code=1583

Maybe there is someone on here who is actually a firefighter and can clarify the training standard for health/fitness matters.

Since the NFPA standard costs money, this is a reasonable overview of the type of conditioning a firefighter should actually undergo.


It starts of with these words:

“Firefighting as a profession demands significant physical strength and endurance. To meet these demands, firefighters need to maintain an excellent level of fitness.

“Also, firefighters are exposed to significant physical, chemical, biological, and psychological hazards, which place significant stressors on them that can impact their overall wellness. This is seen in the high rates of injury, cardiovascular disease, and cancer among firefighters.

“Maintaining a strong wellness and fitness level can improve a firefighter’s resistance to disease and injury, as well as aid in combating such disease and injury when it occurs. ”

Forget about brute force to move a 200 pound dead weight. Think about maintaining the firefighter’s body and mind ready for the many diverse tasks of the job and safe from self-injury to continue the work.

As long as any person can pass the tests and training who cares their gender. I hope there is just one standard and not like the police where there are two sets of qualifications.. Male and female.

Good luck to you in your new job.

Now, when we have the first transgendered fireman, then the washroom will become a real issue.

My dear old Mama has very little use for the over abundance of political correctness that exists today!

When it comes to male or female firefighters, that only thing that matters to her, in her own words is:

“if I need to be carried down and flight of stairs and out of a burning building, I want someone who will be able to pick me up and carry me, not someone who drags me down the stairs by my feet, with my head bouncing off of every step on the way down!”

Male, female, it doesn’t matter to Mama, as long as they are physically strong enough to do the job!


Significant strength = Brute Force.

The real question is: Does this new hiring practice place our desire to be politically correct and gender equal ahead of public safety?

My answer is yes.

The fact that this is the first woman fire fighter is interesting. Is she the first because most woman are not interested in becoming fire fighters?? That would be my guess.

The idea that woman are lining up to do jobs usually filled by men is nothing more than an urban legend,. Most of them have little or no interest in a lot of these jobs.

There was a similar hue and cry about the first women to become railway trainmen, conductors, on freight trains, etc; at the end of the day most of those who hired on quit, because the heavy lifting, walking in snow, etc; etc; was not worth the effort.

We should be thankful that we have men who are able and willing to do a lot of these jobs like mining, truck driving, construction, etc; Especially in Northern Climates. These people are the backbone of the Country, and rarely if ever get noticed for the work they do.

Hopefully this gal enjoys her job as a fire fighter, however at the end of the day, it really isn’t a big deal.

Pg Fire has a nfpa standard CPAT physical that needs to be attained before hired

“… at the end of the day, it really isn’t a big deal.”

Amen to that.

I don’t understand how this is even newsworthy in today’s world, or even 20+ comments on 250news worthy haha

exactly pgjohn!!!

If there is anything newsworthy about it then, in my mind, it would by why it took so long. The reasons behind that are the interesting things.

The answer to that could be in this recent news report. It could also be part of the reasons Ms Gordon has chosen not to highlight this through an interview with the media.


Palopu…. an interesting sexist comment you made!!!

To which I respond:

We should be thankful that we have women who are able and willing to do a lot of these jobs like cleaning, hotel housekeeping, restaurant servers, nursing, dental assistants and hygienists, executive assistants, etc; Especially in Northern Climates. These people are the backbone of the Country, and rarely if ever get noticed for the work they do.

gopg2015 how did Palopu make a sexist comment? He stated a fact, can you refute that fact?

Can you show me a construction site that is 50/50 gender divided for one example. In your example are those occupations 50/50?

I think you have overplayed the sexist thing.

I’m still chuckling here. Seriously, with all the pomp and circumstance in the world, we are told, “The City of Prince George has been preparing for this day, and it has arrived.” You have to say that line in the deepest voice you can muster and don’t forget the dramatic pause after “day”. Then we learn, “The City has been preparing for the arrival of female firefighters with the addition of new gender appropriate washrooms in the firehalls.”

That’s it? Preparations consisted of building washrooms? I still want to know what a “gender appropriate” washroom is? I can understand a gender specific washroom but what is it that makes a washroom “appropriate” for a given gender?

But I agree, this isn’t really news. So long as the fire trucks show up I don’t really care who’s manning them. Oops, I meant “peopling them.” :)

The RCMP has for decades enlisted females. The only visible problem appears to be of a sexist nature. I have a niece in the RCMP she was under weight and ate bananas by the peck to bring up her weight to be selected. She has been in the force for 18 years and has had no problems with her size.

I can’t believe they can find people willing to do the job . Days , perhaps week of anticipation if they are lucky . Then hours in a horror show the likes I could not stomach . I even back in the 80s crawled on my hands and knees to pull my very old neighbour to the floor and out his front door . Luckily it was a smouldering couch and didn’t flash over . What ever it is they get paid , it ain’t enough. Maybe the reason so few women become fire fighters is because they are just smarter than us guys . Crawling around a floor just below the smoke line wasn’t a very bright thing to do .

“We should be thankful that we have men who are able and willing to do a lot of these jobs”

It is sexists because it assumes that ONLY men can do those jobs and want to do those jobs.

The fact is that more and more women CAN do the jobs and WANT to do the jobs and some actually do them these days.

However, it appears that there are still too many people, and that includes women as well as men, who do not support such changes.

It is the mindset of society that society should continue on as it always has. Go to some other countries and women have been integrated much more than here because they live in a different social environment.

Read the article “Female firefighters face bullying, sexual harassment” and enlighten yourself. It is a condition of work which women in non-traditional work of any kind find themselves in. That is likely also the case for men who work in such work as dental assistants, stenographers, nursing, etc. It works both ways, but mainly continues to affect women in western societies.


Then read the article about Fort St. James. How quickly some on here forget!!!

“Robert Bennett, a former fire chief from Fort St. James, B.C., has been found guilty of sexually assaulting three female firefighters……. Throughout the trial, the court heard how the 51-year-old reigned over what was described as a toxic environment at the fire hall where lewd comments were common.”

This has nothing to do with gender distribution in a work category. It has to do with the treatment people receive if they are thought to not belong because of their gender and it has to do with change, change which too many people do not like to see happen. That is very much a human characteristic one has to learn to overcome. That is what sets the 2oth and 21st centuries apart from all others.

Over to you seamutt.

By the way, knowing the conditions some women firefighters face in a male dominated work environment and given the local Fort St. James experience, I hope that the City has doing a bit more than “preparing for the arrival of female firefighters with the addition of new gender appropriate washrooms.”

Given that, and the experience of alleged harassment in the local RCMP station a few years ago, some sensitivity training would also be in order.

Retired 02 – monkey’s uncle?

gopg2015. Lots of ado about nothing.

Many people in the trucking, mining, logging, lumber, fishing, industry work these jobs because of limited choices of employment. Not because they are the best jobs on the earth. Some pay well others don’t.

You would be hard pressed to come up with a scenario where you see woman standing in line to apply for these jobs. Not because they cant do them, but because they don’t want to. Those who do want to, do. Many woman work in these industries however they are in the minority.

Some truck driving jobs have you driving all over North America, all year long, with little time off. Others like driving logging, or chip trucks have you up and in the bush in the early hours of the morning and driving all day. Fishing has you on the Ocean for days at a time. Mining of course is tough, usually out in the boonies, or deep underground.

So it comes down to your choice of a career as much as anything.

Gopg2015 I see your point but are you saying women are not lining for those jobs because of sexism? I have been in jobs where men couldn’t cut it and where women shined and if there was any sexism tried those men got their balls handed to them on a platter.

Over to you good buddy, keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down.

I am not saying that, although that could be a reason some do not want certain jobs. It is a job condition for females in a male dominated workplace. It is one they face in the armed forces, in the police, in firefighting, those are for certain because enough of them have been publicized.

All I started out saying was that Palopu’s comment was sexist. That is what I referenced it to. Now he has tried to wiggle out of it and did a poor job of it.

As mentioned on here with the first comments, the lady in question was smart to not want to be interviewed. Eventually the questions will come around to what essentially will mean “why would you want to do a man’s job.” It will be worded differently if it isn’t being asked by a Donald Trump type person, but that will be what the intent of the question will be by someone eventually. For all I know she has faced that sort of attitude all her life and this is just one more chapter for her.

CNC had a Women in Trades and Technology program about 25 years ago for a few years to try to get women to explore “traditional” male vocations in the hope that some will find them of interest.

At around the same time, the number of females entering engineering programs was increasing significantly. It is now in the 20% range in the USA of the graduating class. However, women are leaving the field in much higher numbers than the men. The reason – the work environment.

From the linked article: “What needs to change …is not how women adapt to their work environment, but how companies adapt to a more diverse workforce. Both researchers recommend that CEOs and top management foster a culture of inclusiveness, helping to create clear paths for advancement and enforcing a zero tolerance policy for incivility and undermining.”

Nicely put, isn’t it – incivility and undermining. A notion which has a different characteristic in an engineering office or even a law office than on a construction site.


Remember what I wrote before, it takes more than fixing a washroom and change rooms to accommodate females. Those are the easy fixes.

They lowered the standards for females to enter the RCMP. They don’t have to do,the same as males.

I have always been struck at how there are so many women driving logging truck in the Fort St James and Vanderhoof area. Maybe 20% of all the logging trucks are driven by a women.

Myself I have always found they are not strong enough to chain up on their own. I have yet to see a women that can chain up on their own… most have long term on going shoulder injuries that put the rest of the motoring public at risk when you have a driver that can’t withstand the fatigue of a long drive and a hard wheel.

I know of electricians that have had to pull the wire for their apprentices, because the female apprentice didn’t have the physical strength to do the job. So the journeyman has the wear and tear on their body to subsidize someone that doesn’t meet the bonifid requirements of the job.

I think in this day and age men are excluded from more jobs than women for sexism. Finance and accounting are prime examples. The few jobs still dominated by men are dominated by men because the reality is that women do not have the interest or the physical requirements to carry out the actual work performance, and not as a result of sexism.

Who cares if its gender neutral washroom. The pee still goes down the drain whatever type of washroom it is.

If an electrician finds it hard to pull a wire, he/she should check to make sure the conduits and openings have the proper transitions. If they do not, the insulation and even the conductor can be damaged. A pull that is too difficult is also an indicator of a poorly laid out cable path.

from this source = ecmweb.com/content/simple-calculations-cable-pulling

Even if your crew has taken all the necessary precautions in paying out cable and handling the reels, a cable pull can still go sour if you damage the cable’s outer insulation during the process.

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