For the past four years, the District 24 Women’s Reference Group has implemented several initiatives including the development of feminine hygiene packs for trucks.
These packs are now on all trucks and in all fire stations in District 24 and will ensure that women in the district can turn out to incidents knowing they won’t get caught out without essential supplies.
Each kit contains a box of tampons, two sanitary pads, ten antibacterial wipes, two disposal bags and a packet of tissues.
Following this successful implementation, the North East Region Inclusion and Fairness (I&F) Advisory Council was instrumental in rolling out the kits to the rest of the region.
Colleen Furlanetto, the District 22 District Planning Committee Chair and member of the NER Inclusion and Fairness Advisory Council, said it’s important for everyone in CFA to have access to basic supportive equipment and that includes the hygiene kits.
“It’s important to appreciate that hygiene kits benefit all members, like first-aid kits, because they contain everyday hygiene products,” Colleen said. “We are one CFA and we are all valued and supported in the really important work we all do. It’s a great initiative and a no-brainer for these kits to be available for our members.”
Feedback received by District 22 has been positive, with many comments along the lines of “we can’t believe we never had them”. Many of the positive comments were from men, and District 22 group officers have been supportive of the initiative.
A woman in District 24 said it was reassuring to know there were emergency supplies available on vehicles for those times when
female members might get caught out due to the unpredictable nature of emergency responses which can be at any time of the day or night.
“This fantastic initiative was developed in response to the need to support our diverse membership in our day-to-day brigade activities and particularly during fireground operations and deployments,” North East Region Deputy Chief Officer Ross Sullivan said.
“The pack provides essential supplies that support our dedicated 24 Women’s Reference Group for this initiative and for their significant contribution to the welfare of our firefighters.”
The success of this initiative demonstrates inclusion and fairness in action in CFA, which benefits all our members.