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Jul 19, 2015 10:28 AM

Official: 1 percent of New Hampshire firefighters are women

The Associated Press

PORTSMOUTH — The director of N.H.'s Fire Standards and Training says bullying and a rigorous physical entrance exam are the principle reasons why only 1 percent of New Hampshire's 8,000 full-time firefighters are women.

Director Deb Pendergast tells the Portsmouth Herald that the agility test is given once a year for men and women. She said an average of 10 women take it and three of fewer pass.

She said the test is difficult for both genders, and an average of 40 percent fail it.

Pendergast said women make up 16 percent of the San Francisco Fire Department, while Manchester's fire department has no women.

David Lang, president of Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire, said his organization has been working hard to encourage and recruit female firefighters.


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