Women account for 24 per cent of Fire Department – Fire Chief
In observance of International Women’s Day, female ranks of the Guyana Fire Service and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) participated in a fire drill exercise at the D’Urban Park, Homestretch Avenue, on Wednesday.
Chief Fire Officer (ag), Gregory Wickham said the exercise aimed to showcase how women in Guyana have an equal space to perform in their respective careers. To this end, he revealed that 24 per cent of the fire department are women.
“The Fire Service is one that is leading the way when it comes to our females performing certain tasks, that supposedly have been designated as male tasks and so, we are very pleased this morning to have a turnout of firefighters, all females,” Wickham stated.
Wickham expressed that he would like to see more women in the career. Currently, 14 females are training to become firefighters.
“Every batch of recruitment we have, we would have females trained because they are important, they play a critical role. Mainly, they would operate out of what we would call our control room, where we have all information coming in and they would manage that area,” he highlighted.
Meanwhile, Diane Gill, who has been a firefighter for a number of years said she would like to see more women joining the profession. “I would tell them, firefighting is a lovely job, it’s a noble profession, taking into consideration at all times, it’s a mostly male dominated environment,” Gill stated.
Johanna Hughes, an EMT for six years told media operatives that although there are challenges in her field, things always work out.
“The six years I have been here, it’s been exciting, I would not lie it’s been exciting and at the same time, there are challenges. Being female, we have cause whereby we have to lift patients weighing a certain amount of weight, so it’s difficult as female […] but we push through these things.”
International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to the issues of gender equality, and violence and other forms of abuse against women.
It is being celebrated under the theme ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’.