The “Gender Shift” trend relates to a fundamental change in the classic gender roles in our world. More and more women are active in fire fighting. Mixing roles is also a popular topic in the fire departments. The increasing deployment of female fire fighters is also changing the requirements for operating the equipment and vehicle properties. There are a lot of opportunities offered by the gender shift trend in daily availability and supplementary competences, since even temporary role switching when bringing up children affects the usual availability.
The traditional job description for fire fighters has been changing for years in the fire departments. Service in the multifaceted environment of fire fighting is no longer just as men’s world. The number of female colleagues is growing – whether in active service, training, the youth fire brigade, or patient care.
But this change in the “classic” gender role requires a corresponding adaptation that contributes to the benefit of the entire team. The ergonomics of not only vehicles but also equipment must have a neutral design. Adaptations with regard to removal and manipulation possibilities, simple operation and optimization of the operational clothing are necessary to facilitate the work of female fire fighters as well as to make working in this field more appealing to women. The method of approach of operating systems is very pragmatic from a female point of view and thus offers clear advantages for the entire, sometimes hectic operating sequence during an operation.
The topic of gender shift is also felt in terms of daily availability. For example, when parents who work during parental leave or employees/workers already in semi-retirement can be notified to overcome crew bottlenecks. Yet flexible working hours and models make it possible to combine work and private life more and more. For example, fire department employees are more readily available to the local fire department during home-office days than when working in a far away location.
All in all, everyone is welcome at the fire department, regardless of gender, age, nationality, cultural background, or education. Beyond that, there are countless ways to contribute to serving society and helping people in need besides active service as a fire fighter.