Many years ago, we debated whether or not women should be allowed to become firefighters. The people against the idea asked the proponents if they were trapped in a burning building, would they want a woman or a man to carry them out.
My response was that it depended on the woman or the man. There are certainly some women strong enough to do it and quite a few men who aren’t. Now, we’re having a similar debate over whether there should be mandatory retirement for firefighters at age 60. In Renfrew, it appears to be a sudden decision aimed at a specific individual. But it reinforces the fact that age and gender are very arbitrary determinants of whether or not someone is able to do a tough physical task, especially when there are other ways to measure their capacity.
I bet there are some 60-year-olds who could perform well as firefighters and plenty of 30-somethings who would find it too challenging. Rather than discriminate based on age, why not have a test for firefighters every year after they turn 55 or 60. If they are physically able to keep working and they still want to, no one should stop them.