British Columbia Firefighters Issued Unisex Undies

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From the Toronto Star vial

This story is almost hard to believe. Could you imagine that when you get a call, you and all your coworkers, male and female, go to a room with all your turnout gear, undress down to your underwear and then don your turnout gear. Well apparently the firefighters in Richmond (British Columbia) do it that way. After allegations of sexual harassment, and all of the women walking off the job, the department set out to fix the problem. That is right, they fixed it. They issued all of the firefighters unisex underwear. Ha, how is that for tunnel vision. Now I am sure there is a good explanation…on second thought, there is no way there is a good explanation. Read on…

The troubled Richmond fire department has banned front-line firefighters from wearing their own undies, briefs or boxers while on duty.

Both sexes are now wearing mandatory standard underwear and it’s costing the city $16,000 to provide each firefighter with six pairs.

The mandatory standard translates into plain, sensible Stanfield boxers, said Richmond city official Ted Townsend.

“You can buy them anywhere,” he said. “There’s nothing special about them.”

The one-style-for-all is part of the city’s attempts to make the department gender-neutral and provide an environment in which men and women will feel comfortable, said Townsend.

When firefighters are called out they remove all their clothes down to their underwear and don protective firefighting gear, said Townsend. (Read More)

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