Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) stations across the state are set to benefit from a $50 million investment including new bathrooms and change rooms in the upcoming Budget to support female firefighters.
The NSW government hopes more women will take up a career in firefighting, with women currently making up only 10 per cent of all professional firefighting frontline roles.
Nationals Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the $50 million investment over 10 years would help FRNSW provide a brighter future for women looking to join the organisation.
“As the State’s first female Emergency Services Minister, one of my goals is to make sure we’re making the right investments for more women to join our firefighting ranks, and this multi-million dollar Budget boost is an important step forward,” Ms Cooke said.
“Upgrading and installing female bathrooms and change rooms at FRNSW stations is a vital part of attracting more women to firefighting and strengthening our frontline emergency services.”
Nationals Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said more than one third of FRNSW stations need capital investment to ensure they have appropriate facilities for female employees.
“Access to appropriate amenities at work is essential for women to feel that they are a valued and respected part of the team,” Mrs Taylor said.
“This investment will not only improve the workplace conditions for current female fire fighters, but help more women feel comfortable pursuing a career in firefighting.”
FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the funding is just one aspect of the organisation’s ongoing commitment to a more inclusive workforce.
“Modernising our stations to include separate change facilities for both women and men is a great first step in ensuring our people feel comfortable at work. When our people are supported, they are empowered to deliver their best and this can only benefit communities,” Commissioner Baxter said.