London Fire Brigade discredits the word ‘fireman’

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Sister Mary-Joy Langdon joined the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in 1976 and she was the first female firefighter. And London only got its first female firefighter, Sue Batten, in 1982. Dany Cotton, current London Fire Commissioner, thinks that more can be done to support female firefighters and to encourage more women to this noble profession. As part of her efforts, Cotton has been in touch with the makers of children’s cartoon Fireman Sam to exclude the word ‘fireman’ from the name to be less gendered. “I have actually written to the makers of Fireman Sam and asked them on his 30th birthday to reconsider naming him Firefighter Sam to join in on the inclusive nature,” she told ITV News. She is a fan of the cartoon’s idea of teaching kids how to behave with fire, but if it promoted gender diversity in the profession of firefighter she would like it much more. “London is a complex and challenging city and it takes a diverse selection of skills, strengths and specialisms to protect it – qualities that both men and women possess. I want to shake off outdated language which we know is stopping young girls and women from considering this rewarding and professional career. We owe it to tomorrow’s firefighters to challenge negative stereotypes today,” she said.

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