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Oct 3, 2017

Growth in Number of Women Firefighters in Denver Leads to Facility Changes

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With roughly 10 percent, and growing, of its more than 1,000-person force made up of women, the Denver Fire Department is confronting some facility challenges.

According to a report prepared this summer by the City of Denver describing bond projects that will be decided upon by voters in November, the Denver Fire Department is “actively engaged in recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive complement of firefighters.”

But that report, officially called General Obligation Bond 2017 Project Summaries, also notes that as a result of greater gender diversity, the Fire Department is trying to ensure that “all firefighters have appropriate and private spaces to meet their basic needs.”

In most cases, this means bathrooms and shower spaces that the department is planning to both reconstruct and retrofit.

Currently, gender equality bathroom updates at four stations are expected to cost $180,000.

At the same time, upgraded crew and officer bathrooms at six stations carry a price tag of $1 million, while kitchen upgrades at thirteen stations are forecast to cost $1.7 million.

Such station upgrades at 19 of Denver’s current 38 fire stations will cost a total of $4.6 million.

That $4.6 million, which has been approved for the November ballot by the Denver City Council, is now a part of the larger $937 million general obligation bond facing Denver voters next month.

 

By Garry Boulard

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