Wet T-shirt controversy: Female firefighters in Australia say new tops become see-through when wet. Shirts were issued for safety.

Picture by Adam Ward at Daily Telegraph
Picture by Adam Ward at Daily Telegraph

Excerpts from an article by Gemma Jones at the Daily Telegraph:

A WET T-shirt controversy has broken out among female firefighters who have complained their new Rural Fire Service shirts become see-through when wet.

More than 600 volunteers joined a Facebook petition to object to the issuing of the bright yellow shirts to replace existing navy blue ones.

Women complained that when they sweat, handle leaking hoses, wash or fill their trucks and even when it rains, their male colleagues can see through their new shirts, The Daily Telegraph reports.

“Most women aren’t too happy about it. We’re not doing the job to be glamorous. We’re not sex objects,” Sydney volunteer Maryann Berndt, 34, said yesterday.

An RFS spokesman said the shirts would be issued to volunteers free, unlike the navy ones which members have to pay for and which will remain for sale.

He added that while first yellow shirts issued were of thinner fabric, the next ones due to be issued would have pockets over the chest and would not be see through when wet.

“The colour yellow has been used due to its high visibility. Also, during independent testing in Alberta, Canada, it has been identified that the blue coloured clothing absorbs more heat,” he said.

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