EVERY woman who answered a call for female ambulance officers has been rejected. The ambulance service has posted rejection letters to dozens of women who responded to the first concerted attempt to recruit women for emergency work. It comes after the Fire Services Department, which encompasses ambulance services, revealed it had turned down all applications from would-be firewomen in the past two years. Fire Services bosses yesterday denied discrimination, blaming the women's failure on poor appreciation of discipline and other facets of the job. Assistant Divisional Officer (Recruitment, Training and Examination) Tam Tai-keung said the results were 'unfortunate', but selection had been fair. Of 166 female applicants for the post of ambulance officer - from a total of 3,780 - seven survived height, weight and strength tests only to be knocked back after interviews. 'The female interviewees did not really understand the job nature including the discipline required,' Mr Tam said. 'Many just thought the job of an ambulancewoman was like a civilian worker. They didn't realise they would have to follow strict discipline. 'Some of them also thought they would remain back in the ambulance depot and would not be going out to incidents. 'There were brochures and pamphlets in our recruiting centre to collect and study before the interview, but they did not do their preparation work,' he added. The ambulance recruitment exercise was the first since equal opportunities legislation was passed last year. Senior ambulance officers previously acknowledged the need for women officers because female patients, especially those giving birth, prefer to be tended by women. The fire service has four female station officers, all of whom were recruited in 1993 and 1994, soon after the post was opened to women. In the past two years, 49 women applied to become station officers. All were rejected after tests. The post of firewoman, created in July 1994, has attracted 12 applications from women, but only one qualified and she later failed her final test.