Another traditionally male bastion has been invaded by women. In the Columbian capital, Bogota, a?
Another traditionally male bastion has been invaded by women. In the Columbian capital, Bogota, a group of twenty women have been taken on by the fire brigade.
They were chosen from 150 applicants after passing rigorous physical fitness tests. The girls must also be between 18 and 23 years old to qualify and at least 5 feet 4 inches tall (1.60 metres). And they must have had secondary education.
Last month the twenty successful applicants graduated from a two-month training course as fully fledged firewomen. Their main role will be in fire prevention. This invokes educating local businesses, factories and country people about fire hazards. But as well, the firewomen are now able to wield hoses, slide down poles, and make daring rescues - in fact they can perform all the jobs of their male colleagues.
In spite of criticism from Columbians who consider firefighting is not a suitable job for women, the scheme has generally been considered success. And is has apparently roused considerable interests in neighbouring South American countries, although none have so far followed suit.
SYNOPSIS: Bogota, the capital of Columbia, has become one of the first cities in the world to employ firewomen. The first group of twenty graduated last month from a two-month training course.
They have all been fully trained in fire fighting, but their main role will be fire prevention. This involves educating business factories and country people about fire hazards.
The training course includes weight lifting, and all the firewomen can now handle the heavy equipment with the ease of their male colleagues.
Entry standards for the new recruits are stiff. They must pass a rigorous fitness test.
As well, they must have secondary education, be between the age of eighteen and twenty three, and be at least five feet four inches tall.
As a part of their training the recruits must be able to lower themselves thirty metres on a safety cable.
The prospect of firewomen has attracted consider it is not a suitable occupation for women. But the officials running the training programme say the experiment has been very successful.