Firefighters in Richmond, British Columbia have long been supplied with the proper gear and protective equipment needed to do their jobs such as helmets and gloves but now the city is required to supply their firefighters with underwear. Bending to pressure, the city of Vancouver is spending C$16,000 ($14,200) to buy each male firefighter in the city six pairs of boxers in an effort to quell complaints of sexual harassment from female firefighters in the city.

It’s not so much that the firefighters have to strip off most of their clothing in order to put on their gear and equipment when responding to a fire but a recent investigation that found the behavior of male firefighters towards their female colleagues was “characterized by juvenile and hostile behavior”. City official Ted Townsend said that the current equipment cannot be put on over regular clothing but the city was looking into purchasing equipment that could be put on over regular uniforms so that firefighters would not have to strip before responding to fires. “We supply firefighters with various pieces of gear such as gloves, now it’s underwear,” said Townsend in an interview with the Vancouver Sun. He added that it was all part of “integration of the sexes in the workplace.”

City sets underwear rule for firefighters (Reuters)

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