Trial run hoped to draw women to Surrey Fire Service

Women interested in a career firefighting are invited to have a trial run at the physical test next week, as part of efforts to better their odds when it comes time for the real thing.

Women interested in a career firefighting are invited to have a trial run at the physical test next week, as part of efforts to better their odds when it comes time for the real thing.

Tim Dykeman, Surrey Fire Services’ recruitment co-ordinator, said the Oct. 11 session at the 14901 64 Ave. training facility is a chance for all prospective firefighters to go through the drill and figure out what they need to work on in order to pass the test.

But the hope is it will draw women who may be intimidated by the physical test. That component of the hiring process tends to be more trying for women than men, he said.

“The physical’s a really challenging part of the whole process,” Dykeman said. “We find we do tend to lose disproportionately more women in the physical testing than we do men.”

Dykeman said women also tend to be less likely to even consider a career as a firefighter. As children, it’s an occupation that tends to be more impressed upon boys.

“Whether they’re coming from another country or they’re a North American, how many girls get a fire truck as a child?” Dykeman said.

Fewer than two per cent of the approximately 450 firefighters in Surrey are female, he added.

Dykeman said those who come out Oct. 11 have nothing to lose.

“We’re looking for ways to help them get through the program more successfully. It’s as much an exploratory thing as anything else.”

The practice session is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Deadline to register is Oct. 5. To reserve a spot, email tddykeman@surrey.ca

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