The Akureyri Fire Department is seeking to hire two people for temporary summer relief positions, RÚV reports, and Fire Chief Ólafur Stefánsson says they only want to hire women for the jobs. Nine applications have already been received and are currently being evaluated to see if they meet the job requirements.
Ólafur says that he’s attempting to reflect a more equal gender balance in the work environment, and notes that equal opportunities laws obliges managers to take special measures to do this, if needed.
The two new employees will fill in for current firefighters who go on vacation from May to September, but following their relief cover, temporary summer workers are allowed to apply for permanent positions starting in the fall. Currently, there are no women working full time on the fire brigade and only four women have worked in the department over the years.
In order to become a firefighter, applicants must have graduated from high school, and pass an endurance test, a swimming test, and a general knowledge test. The individual must also not be claustrophobic, afraid of heights, or color blind. Ólafur is confident that he can hire women who meet these requirements and so has already closed the application period.
“Yes, I’m very optimistic, otherwise, we’d presumably need to extend the application period,” he remarked. “...I’m not giving up until it’s a done deal.”