Firefighter again raises concerns about gender inequity at Tampa Fire Rescue

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Tanja Vidovic

At recent meetings of Tampa City Council, during public comment, a firefighter has raised issues about obstacles for women firefighters at Tampa Fire Rescue.

Tanja Vidovic mentioned improvements that could be made such as allowing pregnant firefighters to keep their same schedule but go on light duty. And she mentioned that some firehouses don’t have women’s restrooms.

She is a co-host of Sustainable Living, which airs at 10:00 a.m. Mondays on 88.5 WMNF.

We heard an exchange between Tampa Fire Rescue Chief Barbara Tripp and City Council member Orlando Gudes from Last Thursday, October 7 as well as an exchange between Council member John Dingfelder and Chief Tripp.

During the meeting, City Council member Charlie Miranda suggested maybe it’s no big deal if there are unisex bathrooms at fire stations.

But Vidovic points out that at some stations the only bathroom is a large room in which the showers have glass doors, the urinals are open and also include lockers for firefighters. There’s no privacy for women firefighters.

Years ago, Vidovic sued the City of Tampa over sexual discrimination.

Watch the interview here:

Listen to the full show here:

Below is a list of improvements Vidovic suggests for TFR, provided to WMNF:

  1. A non discrimanatory pregnancy maintain established policy where women can go on light duty and maintain their established schedule.
  2. Create a non-discrimanatory/ Retaliation based breastfeeding/ pumping policy
  3. 5 year plan to add womens bathrooms to all stations that do not have them, and all new stations bathrooms be moving forward single user.
  4. 3rd party harassment/hostile workplace investigations to leave Out names + gender, with a clear set of established discipline.
  5. Add that all R+R + Personnel manual items, including harassment / retaliation can be grievable by the body.
  6. Women specific gear including turnout gear, SBCA & Jackets.
  7. Equality / Equity in hiring, training opportunities & promotion making sure that women + POC are not skipped over
  8. Mental health sick days- not penolized for them on our evaluation with more support for PTSD.
  9. Parental leave equality allow men to be primary, as well as women.
  10. Yearly-workplace climate survey – there is a good one on the website for the International Association of Fire Chiefs

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