New South Wales fire station upgrades to support fire fighting women, Australia
Seven priority fire stations will be upgraded to provide fit-for-purpose amenities under the New South Wales (NSW) Liberal and Nationals Government’s $50 million investment aimed at supporting female fire fighters. Treasurer Matt Kean, Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke and Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner Paul Baxter visited Merrylands today to announce the first upgrades for fire stations at Coledale, Cooma, Merewether, Merrylands, Singleton, The Entrance and Thredbo.
Kean said work will focus on new toilets, showers and change rooms to break down barriers that stop women becoming fire fighters. “No matter where a woman works, they should have access to appropriate facilities and this investment will ensure our fire stations offer that. Modernising our stations is a vital part of attracting more women to fire fighting and strengthening our frontline emergency services,” Kean said.
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the $50 million 2022-23 Budget investment is being progressively rolled out over 10 years. “We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable in the workplace. With more women joining the firefighting ranks, access to appropriate amenities at fire stations is essential. These upgrades will see more women feeling welcomed, respected and comfortable at work and a valued part of the local team,” Minister Taylor said.
Minister Cooke said many fire stations across NSW were constructed decades ago and are not appropriate for a modern and diverse workforce. “Every graduation it’s pleasing to see dozens more women joining the firefighting ranks, and as the State’s first female Emergency Services Minister, I’m immensely proud to be delivering a program that will make it easier for women of the future to follow their lead,” Minister Cooke said.
Ten percent of FRNSW’s permanent fire fighters and 13 percent of on-call fire fighters are women.
Commissioner Baxter said FRNSW is committed to the safety and wellbeing of fire fighters and providing a more inclusive work environment. “This investment will help improve workplace conditions for all fire fighters by providing men and women with private, separate facilities to ensure our people feel comfortable at work,” Commissioner Baxter said.
Design work for the Merrylands Fire Station upgrade has been completed and construction will commence in May.
An additional 12 fire stations are expected to be upgraded in the 2023-24 financial year.
FRI Media (Pty) Ltd is an independent publisher of technical magazines including the well-read and respected Fire and Rescue International, its weekly FRI Newsletter and the Disaster Management Journal. We also offer a complete marketing and publishing package, which include design, printing and corporate wear and gifts.