Sunday, July 22, 2012

Title IX for America's Most Dangerous Occupation?

Being a firefighter is a very dangerous occupation, although it's been getting slightly safer over time.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost 3,600 firefighters died on the job between 1981 and 2011. That's an average of about 115 occupational deaths per year for firefighters, although fortunately there's been a slight downward trend and the  number of deaths last year was only about half the historical average at 61, setting a new record low.

The number of annual injuries for firefighters has been declining as well, but there were still  almost 72,000 incidents last year. That means that almost 200 firefighters were injured on-the-job every day in 2010.  There were slightly more than one million firefighters in 2010 (including 768,150 volunteers), which means that more than 6.5%, and more than one out of every 15 firefighters, were injured or killed on the job in 2010.  That's a lot better than the 10% share of firefighters who were injured or killed in 1991, but it still makes firefighting one of the most dangerous jobs in America (based on both occupational fatalities and on-the-job injuries). 

But there are huge, and persistent gender gaps for firefighters (along with huge gender occupational fatality gaps and huge gender occupational injury gaps), with male firefighters outnumbering female fighters by almost 27-to-1 (96.4% male vs. 3.6% female in 2010). 

Q: Shouldn't the huge gender disparities in firefighting employment, injuries and deaths motivate applying Title IX legislation to this industry with the goal of perfect gender parity?  

31 Comments:

At 7/23/2012 12:52 AM, Blogger kmg said...

Prof. Perry,

You are still assuming that feminists, and women in general, want fairness and true equality.

They don't, and pointing out their hypocrisy will now sway them. Why should they relent when they can easily get away with it.

The truth is, equality would be a step back for women, since special treatment for them has been the norm throughout human history.

That makes sense, given that the number of babies a society could produce would be the same even if most of the men died, but a single woman dying directly reduced the number of babies that could be born.

That is why just about any society (even Islamic ones) would readily send a huge portion of men to die on the battlefield before a single woman faced harm. That was logical from a biological standpoint.

Civilization is contrary to biology, since civilization requires that men not be expendable (men being those who do the work to build civilization). Hence the struggle between civilization, and female-centrism...

 
At 7/23/2012 12:54 AM, Blogger kmg said...

The solution, of course, is for men to stop becoming firefighters, soldiers, and dockworkers.

Why should men do dangerous jobs, when society is ungrateful to them for it.

 
At 7/23/2012 2:03 AM, Blogger randian said...

Do bear in mind that the injury numbers are likely bogus. Boston FD, for example, is famous for having nearly everybody retire with an "injury" aka disability. Why? Disabled firefighters get a tax exemption for their pension. In every state where public safety (fire & police) get a substantial benefit for retiring with a disability I would expect this kind of fraud to go on.

 
At 7/23/2012 5:12 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

In every state where public safety (fire & police) get a substantial benefit for retiring with a disability I would expect this kind of fraud to go on.

sure... women just want their fair share of it.

 
At 7/23/2012 8:15 AM, Blogger William Occam said...

Most dangerous occupation? That thankfully is a myth, but one that many play upon to ensure outrageous compensation and benefits.

As it turns out firefighters are NOT in the top ten occupations for fatalities (per 100k FTE).

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf

There were 61 fatalities of career firefighters in 2011 half of which did not occur at the scene of a fire of emergency.


http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/osfff.pdf

The reality is that women and minorities are kept out of the firefighting business because it is a classic union run cartel that favors white christian males.

Name another profession where you can routinely earn six figures with only a high school diploma and retire after 20 years....

See here for more insights into the "most dangerous job" in America.

http://bluecravat.blogspot.com/2012/07/municipal-bankruptcy-fact-of-day.html

 
At 7/23/2012 8:23 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

When you consider both deaths AND injuries, firefighting is one of the most dangerous occupations.

 
At 7/23/2012 8:42 AM, Blogger The Drill SGT said...

I'll come at the topic from the angle of 911. Lots of Fire departments, used to have entrance tests that consisted (in part) in suiting up in full gear with air tanks and then running up stairs carrying rolls of hose line. Brutal. But because few women could pass, those tests were trimmed down or eliminated.

Comes 911. More than 300 firemen, and I use that term precisely, went up the stairs of WTC I and II, in full gear, carrying rolls of hoseline to their deaths.

There may have been firewomen manning pumper engines, but EVERY one of the 349 FDNY staff who died on 911 was a man.

The city didn’t hire its first women firefighters until 1982 after the group sued claiming a physical exam discriminated against the fairer sex. But even today, some male firefighters dispute that decision. "It's a physical job. It requires physical strength," Deputy Chief Paul Mannix told the Post. "People ask why there aren't more women in the Fire Department. Why aren't there more women in the NFL or Major League Baseball?" He added that having a different physical test for women is harmful to the department. "You can't get away from the fact that this is a physical job. This is a dangerous job and they are trying to dummy it down."

 
At 7/23/2012 8:59 AM, Blogger William Occam said...

mark,

As other commenters have noted the injury statistics for firefighters are suspect at best.

 
At 7/23/2012 9:02 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Even if the number of firefighter injuries is overstated by a factor of 2X, it would still be one of the most dangerous occupations based on injuries per 100,000 full-time workers.

 
At 7/23/2012 9:14 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Occam,

The reality is that women and minorities are kept out of the firefighting business because it is a classic union run cartel that favors white christian males.

Really? Suiting up in firefighters outfits and carrying hoses favors white Christian males? Being smart enough to pass a written exam favors white Christian males? Care to explain how either one of these two things does that?

Name another profession where you can routinely earn six figures with only a high school diploma

The computer industry, particularly networking and computer security. While it's true, most people in these fields have degrees, but people with only high school degrees routinely get high paying jobs in these fields due to work experience. Ability is more important than credentialing.

As for the retiring in 20 years, I can't think of a private sector job in which that is true. But there are other government jobs, like police, can earn six figures per year and retire after 20 years. Thankfully, this is changing as well as more public employees are being made to work longer and contribute more to their retirement.

 
At 7/23/2012 9:22 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

As for the retiring in 20 years, I can't think of a private sector job in which that is true. But there are other government jobs, like police, can earn six figures per year and retire after 20 years. Thankfully, this is changing as well as more public employees are being made to work longer and contribute more to their retirement.


the interesting thing is that the military does that also and many retirees with full benefits including health care then take on second careers at other public sector jobs ..known as "double dipping".

 
At 7/23/2012 10:13 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Larry,

the interesting thing is that the military does that also and many retirees with full benefits including health care then take on second careers at other public sector jobs ..known as "double dipping".

I don't find that interesting, so much as grating. Government jobs, including benefits and retirement, need to get with the program, understand basic math and modernize. Pensions have been shown to be incredibly expensive to those who actually have to pay for it and looks to be worrisome for those who depend on them, since they ultimately rely on politicians' good will.

It would be easy for the military and all other government jobs to implement 401K style retirement plans, rather than putting taxpayers on the hook, particularly when political fraud is so prevalent when it comes to what congressmen call "accounting". Additionally, how many military members who have 10 years in actually WANT to be in the military. This doesn't make me feel safer knowing that a good chunk, and likely a majority, of senior military don't want to be in the military, but it's financially stupid for them to get out.

This was one of the primary reasons I got out. I knew so many people who did this or that, reenlisting a couple times to get some really cool assignments or training, then ended up getting stuck. These people were miserable and could likely tell you exactly how many days they had left in the military. Can you imagine going to work utterly miserable and getting taken from your family regularly because your employer has you financially over a barrel. I'm not talking about the typical disgruntledness of workers, but deep and painful misery to the point you are physically ill for years.

The pension system is a trap. For the public sector, though, as I've said all ready, it allows for all sorts of accounting hanky panky for politicians.

 
At 7/23/2012 10:19 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Additionally, how many military members who have 10 years in actually WANT to be in the military. This doesn't make me feel safer knowing that a good chunk, and likely a majority, of senior military don't want to be in the military, but it's financially stupid for them to get out.


this is one of the reasons DOD's budget has more than doubled since 2000 and don't forget that health care for the military and dependents is recorded as an entitlement and the VA is not recorded as a DOD expense either.

People stay in the military because they know they can get a full pension after 20 years, and they get health care for their families.

Only a small percentage of the military actually faces combat. The vast majority are in non-combat support and training and logistics roles.

it costs this country a pretty penny that is a significant portion of the deficit and debt.

 
At 7/23/2012 10:50 AM, Blogger The Drill SGT said...

Occam said...The reality is that women and minorities are kept out of the firefighting business because it is a classic union run cartel that favors white christian males.

http://nyfd.com/9_11_wtc.html

That's the page with the 911 dead. Yeah, there are too many Irish and Italians. Classic catholic sons/nephews of firemen, who in turn were sons and nephews of others. Note the hispanic and black faces. So yeah, too many catholics, not enough Asians and Jews. Less union, I suspect than history. Just like there are a number of military families where the sons go into pop's business and the daughters marry into it. scoff if you like, It's home...


Larry G said...People stay in the military because they know they can get a full pension after 20 years, and they get health care for their families.

Only a small percentage of the military actually faces combat. The vast majority are in non-combat support and training and logistics roles.


FWIW retirement at 20 years is 50% of base pay, but base pay may be only 60% of total pay, so retirement at 20, yields maybe 30% of your final salary.

Everybody who deploys gets shot at, particularly those truck drivers you scorn as loggies. Think driving down a road in Iraq pulling 5,000 gals of jet fuel in 110 degree heat is cushy?

as for support roles, most of our Army combat troops have been pulling at least one year in three in combat for 10+ years.

Troops are earning their pay.

 
At 7/23/2012 11:09 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Drill Sgt,

Everybody who deploys gets shot at

This is definitely not true.

Troops are earning their pay.

No one is disputing that. What is in dispute is that they earn lifetime pay and benefits for only 20 years worth of work.

 
At 7/23/2012 11:34 AM, Blogger William Occam said...

Mark,

The data you reference regarding injuries appears to be suspect.

Fisherman have by far the most fatalities per 100,000 FTE at 200 but only 800 injuries. Firefighters have 4.4 fatalities per 100,000 but 11,600 injuries.

Which job provides the best sickness and injury benefits?

The data also suggests that pilots suffer over 10 times as many injuries as fisherman. Hmmmm

 
At 7/23/2012 11:39 AM, Blogger William Occam said...

Ken,

91% of NYC firefighters are white. Are you suggesting that only white males can pass the physical?

 
At 7/23/2012 11:43 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

The key data points here are:

1. Firefighting is a relatively dangerous occupation, measured by either fatalities or injuries, or both, compared to any "average" occupation.

2. Men outnumber women in this profession by a factor of 27 to 1, and women represent only 3.6% of these jobs.

And my main point is this:

Gender activists/feminists usually complain when women are underrepresented in an occupation, like STEM fields, and/or when women earn less on average than men.

But I don't hear feminists complaining that women are under-represented in firefighting, and there are no demands for perfect gender parity for firefighters.

 
At 7/23/2012 11:50 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

But I don't hear feminists complaining that women are under-represented in firefighting, and there are no demands for perfect gender parity for firefighters.


yes..but are YOU listening?

Women want to serve in combat and on police forces... so is there something about firefighting that does not track similarly?

 
At 7/23/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Women want to serve in combat and on police forces... so is there something about firefighting that does not track similarly?"...

Well , there's nothing like repeating a stupid but politically correct mistake over and over, eh larry g...

 
At 7/23/2012 12:09 PM, Blogger William Occam said...

I agree that the Title IX has swung too far in general.

In the case of firefighting my sense is that female parity is not pushed very hard because of the physical requirements....

http://bluecravat.blogspot.com/2012/06/pelosi-do-as-i-say-not-as-i-do.html

 
At 7/23/2012 12:48 PM, Blogger kmg said...

Prof. Perry,

But I don't hear feminists complaining that women are under-represented in firefighting, and there are no demands for perfect gender parity for firefighters.

Again, you are assuming this was ever their objective.

It was not. The sooner you realize this, the less mysterious their behavior will seem.

 
At 7/23/2012 12:59 PM, Blogger Ken said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/23/2012 1:00 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Occam,

91% of NYC firefighters are white. Are you suggesting that only white males can pass the physical?

No. I am saying that women aren't as strong as men, so fail the physical at higher rates than men. And blacks and non-white hispanics aren't as smart as whites, so cannot pass the written test at the same rate as whites.

Your claim that firefighters are "a classic union run cartel that favors white christian males" is simple race/gender baiting that has no basis in reality.

 
At 7/23/2012 1:07 PM, Blogger The Drill SGT said...

careers tend to run in families. I suspect that in NYC you would find some trends in occupations that span generations and align with certain ethnic groups. Over time, other ethnic groups enter the mix and their descendents also are more likely to take up the trade.

In NYC, Irish and Italians make up a higher percentage of the FDNY

Jews used to be overepresented as tailors, then Chinese? now?

 
At 7/23/2012 1:18 PM, Blogger William Occam said...

Ken,

I must have hit a nerve. Seems more than a little ironic that you accuse me of race baiting but proceed to aver that "blacks and non-white hispanics aren't as smart as whites, so cannot pass the written test at the same rate as whites." Wow.

As a point of reference minorities are now the majority in the NYPD. I wonder why they are able to pass the police academy exams but are largely unable to pass the fire departments' test?





You

 
At 7/23/2012 1:36 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Occam,

Seems more than a little ironic that you accuse me of race baiting but proceed to aver that "blacks and non-white hispanics aren't as smart as whites, so cannot pass the written test at the same rate as whites."

This isn't race baiting as it's a simple statement of fact.

Pointing to racial differences in the make up of a work force as evidence of racism is race baiting, as racism is pretty much never the reason for different racial make up of any work force.

As a point of reference minorities are now the majority in the NYPD. I wonder why they are able to pass the police academy exams but are largely unable to pass the fire departments' test?

NYPD for decades lowered its scores to be more "inclusive" racially and ended up with a poorer, more corrupt work force. This is why the normalization of test scores based on race was ended a few years ago.

 
At 7/23/2012 1:54 PM, Blogger William Occam said...

I am not sure why your belief that whites are smarter than blacks is NOT race baiting but a statement of fact, and my statement that the NYFD is controlled by white males IS race baiting and not a statement of fact?

Probably no point in pursuing this particular line of thought any further....

 
At 7/23/2012 2:16 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Occam,

I am not sure why your belief that whites are smarter than blacks is NOT race baiting but a statement of fact,

For the same reason it's not gender baiting to say that women are weaker than men.

 
At 7/23/2012 2:19 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Occam,

my statement that the NYFD is controlled by white males IS race baiting and not a statement of fact?

Your implication is that NYFD is racist based solely on outcomes. Guess what? Outcomes for nearly every metric in the world exist for each racial category.

If you gave reasons why you think NYFD is racist other than lamely pointing out that NYFD is mostly white, you might have a point. But as has been shown over and over and over, claiming differences in outcomes is definitive proof that racism exists has been debunked.

 
At 7/23/2012 8:55 PM, Blogger Ian Random said...

The injuries might have to do with pension spiking:

"Nearly 30 Boston firefighters with pending disability claims filed for retirement yesterday, just two days before a new state law ends a controversial benefit that allows them to significantly enhance their pensions if they claim career-ending injuries occurred while filling in for a superior at a higher pay grade."


http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/06/30/with_new_law_closing_a_loophole_boston_firefighters_race_to_retire_by_tomorrow/

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home