NUEVA ECIJA BFP – THE LADIES ON “FIRE”
Being able to understand that the under-representation of women is an alarming inequity that needs to be immediately addressed, Regional Director CSUPT ARIEL A BARAYUGA (DSC) CEO VI spearheaded the creation of the Lady Firefighters in Region III. Nueva Ecija BFP, through the leadership of SUPT GREGORIO S ANTONIO, BFP immediately compliedwith the instruction of the Regional Commander. Immediate but thorough screening and selection process was undertaken and named the ten members of the Provincial Lady Firefighters Group. The high commanders of BFP recognized that in the past, women were not recruited and hired because of the occupational culture that is exclusionary.
There seemed to be unequal employment opportunities in recruiting, hiring, assigning, and promoting women generally in the tri-bureau but more particularly in the fire service. However, with the Gender Awareness Development Program, it has long been issues of the past.
Prior to the creation of Nueva Ecija Lady Firefighters, the agency was able to elucidate major challenges in the formation of such exclusive group. Construction and design of facilities such as sleeping quarters and bathing areas were thoughtfully schemed so that women can fully participate in firefighting as an occupation and as a culture.
As to sexual dimorphism, part of the designed Program of Instruction for the training are series of Physical Fitness and lifestyle modification because firefighters pull heavy lengths of hose, climb stairs while wielding giant power tools, and lift 180-pound, 35-foot ladders – akin to carrying a concrete lamp post. Moreover, BFP Region III procured bunker coats, fire boots, and other firefighting gears that were specifically intended for the anatomical built of a firewoman.
Separately, the group, headed by FO2 Lilibeth M Pulig, BFP, had undergone a well-constructed training course program. It is a 17-day training program divided into seven-modules. The training team is composed of men and women of NE BFP headed by SUPT GREGORIO S ANTONIO BFP as the Training Director, SFO1Rolan B Manuel, BFP as the Tactical Instructor, and SFO1 Ronnie B Santos as the Course Coordinator. These BFP personnel work outside the scope of their job description as they continue to hone their knowledge and skills through continuous training to provide the participants current and up-to-the-minute information and education.
To date, other Provinces of Region III as per the instruction of the Regional Director himself are on the process of creating their very own Lady Firefighters Team.
With the selfless support through training and education facilitated by the instructors mentioned above notwithstanding the encouragement of the superiors and colleagues, these lady firefighters are heroes already, standing up bravely to fight fires and related eventualities. They are the personification of gender equality in all aspects as they show that women are very much capable of becoming firefighters.