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Firefighters and Union disagree over female intake quota

A disagreement has arisen between the MFB and the firefighters’ union over the intake of women into the service.

The MFB would like more women in the service, but concerns have been raised that better candidates might miss out.

MFB CEO Jim Higgins told Tom Elliott all selected firefighters will still be of acceptable standard.

‘We’re only seeking to increase the number of women and people from diverse backgrounds once they have reached the very significant bar that every applicant has to pass,’ Mr Higgins said.

‘In no circumstances are we seeking to lower the standards.’

Click play to hear Mr Higgins’ interview

But Kath Dunell, a firefighter with the MFB, told Tom she doesn’t want a quota.

‘Scrapping the order of merit would not only be dangerous for the community but dangerous for fellow firefighters,’ Ms Dunell said.

‘I’m a mother with three young children – I want to go home to them safely.’

And Tom agrees.

He said this is a profession that should put a high priority on finding the very best people for the job.

‘Firefighting, like frontline infantry combat roles, is not a place for political correctness,’ he said.

Click play to hear the full discussion