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Can’t It Just be FireMAN…Not Fire Person?

Short and Angry rant today.

The Wife posted a picture of the boy in a Fireman’s Hat with the following status:


Most comments were the standard “Your son is so cute” and “his father must be a great looking guy” but one really annoyed me.  It is the kind of political correct bullshit that ends with kids not being able to play with a ball during recess.

Firemen comment

This particular person is such a nice and warm person, but very liberal and I knew that was a direct dig at the word firemen.  You know what? It is just fireman.

Women in Firefighting

For some reason unbeknownst to me there is a wikipedia page on the topic that I am going to pull some stats from:

  • Germany – Female professional firefighters number about 559 (1.4% of the total)
  • Hong Kong – As of 2003, there were 111 uniformed females, but only 8 were operational firefighters.
  • Japan – As of 2003 the Tokyo Fire Department had 666 female firefighters, 3.8% of the total (There may have been a push to increase this number since then)
  • Netherlands – 3.3%
  • UK – 3.1%
  • US – As of 2.2%

So none of those very industrialized countries break 4% and we must throw out the word fireman? Nope not going to do it.  My older brother is a proud FIREMAN for the FDNY.



  1. Maybe BECAUSE none of those industrial countries break 4%, we should consider “firefighter” rather than limiting it to “fireman/men”.

    Just, you know, an opinion from someone else who is “warm and caring BUT very liberal”. 😉

  2. I hate the whole congress-woman\fire-woman\post-woman crap. “-Man” is just a suffix not a literal man. The definition of the suffix is “having the nationality or job mentioned” per cambridge dictionary. People who think otherwise are too sensitive for my tastes.

  3. Brandy – it’s not “just a suffix”. A woman who does a job doesn’t want to continually be called “man”. Whether it’s Chairman, fireman, policeman, whatever. What’s wrong with being neutral instead of using wording that assumes the person doing the job is male?

  4. This is actually a HUGE misconception. A firefighter is actually quite different from a fireman. A fireman is somebody who starts and/or maintains fire, usually in a boiler of some sort. It was a common position in the times of steam trains. Firefighters are people who put out fires. Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451 nods to this distinction by naming all the firemen thusly; as they were setting books on fire, not putting fires out.

  5. While the history lesson is interesting and I never recognized that in Bradbury’s book, still and yet, modern usage is that a “fireman” is someone who puts out fires. You ask any 6 year old kid what a fireman is and I’ll bet you my next paycheck that not ONE of them says “someone who starts a fire in a boiler” and instead talks about firehouses, hats, big red trucks, fire poles, and dalmations. 🙂


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