Female firefighters – the myth extinguished
SUFFOLK Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging more women to take on the life saving role of a firefighter
An open day on Monday 5 March at Lowestoft South Fire Station will extinguish any myths that the job is better suited to men.
Running from 10am until 2pm, women will have the opportunity to try on the kit and talk to female firefighters about their experiences of serving and protecting the local community alongside male colleagues.
Across Suffolk, there are currently 30 operational women, making up 5% of frontline staff. This is above the national average of around 3%, but Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is determined to recruit more women to the service.
The day will include a demonstration pump and ladder drill and a chance for women to take part in practical sessions. The sessions will include carrying and assembling operational equipment, dragging a simulated casualty, working in confined spaces with breathing apparatus and climbing a ladder. Officers will be on hand to help, advise and answer any questions throughout the day.
Karen Elliott, regional representative for Networking Women at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, became the first female firefighter to join her local station at Nayland in 2006. She said,
“This is a fantastic initiative and will help us to raise awareness of what is a great role for women.
“Women have all the necessary skills required for the role but may lack confidence to apply for a job or be daunted by the physical aspects, which is why we are giving them a chance to have a go at the open day. I am very excited about this event and looking forward to meeting everyone.”
Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Protection said;
“The event will give would-be firefighters a real sense of what it feels like to work in the service and to serve their local community.
“Becoming a firefighter is something we are passionate about encouraging more women to consider – it is absolutely not just a job for men.”
The open day is primarily targeting day cover on-call firefighter vacancies at Lowestoft South, Wrentham, Halesworth and Southwold Fire Stations. Positions are also available in Eye, Ixworth, Elmswell, Haverhill, Needham Market, Mildenhall and Nayland.
Anyone interested in attending the event on 5 March should contact Tracey Biggs on 01502 524100 email@example.com or Karen Elliott on 07780 220248 firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about the recruitment process contact Russell Punchard (01473 260588) email@example.com