Pittsburgh's percentage of female firefighters falls well short of national average, audit shows

Article here. Excerpt:

'Among the issues with the physical exam was the use of a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) during testing. While that is what firefighters are expected to carry while in the field, “it is both very awkward to carry and not readily available to practice with before the exam.”

It also examined how few women make it from the application process to career firefighter.

In 2021, 406 applicants to the bureau finished the written exam, 6.7% of whom were female. Of those who passed the written exam, 283 completed the physical exam — about 5.3% were women.

Of those 283, 210 made the civil service eligibility list. The other 73 either failed or chose not to continue in the process. Of the 210 who moved on, only 1.9% were women.

“Starting with 5.3% of applicants being female for the physical exam and ending with 1.9% of the female applicants making the eligibility list represents a loss of 64.2%,” the audit pointed out.'

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