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Fire Brigades Union reacts to Lincolnshire Fireman Sam removal ­— 'Fireman is an archaic term'

By Abigail Hunt

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has responded to the discontinued use of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue's Fireman Sam mascot.

The union stated 'fireman' is an archaic term that does not reflect the reality of being in the fire service.

It comes after the fire and rescue service previously received criticism on their open days for not being inclusive enough.

Fireman Sam UGC pic for Lynn News. (16434113)
Fireman Sam UGC pic for Lynn News. (16434113)

Responding to the removal, the FBU said women firefighters risk their lives every single day and calling them firefighters should not be too much to ask.

"Massive cuts to firefighter numbers and a complete lack of recruitment over the last decade have undermined any efforts to diversify the fire and rescue workforce," said Ben Selby, FBU executive council member for the East Midlands.

"To add to this, the Tory government also scrapped crucial equality targets.

"'Fireman' is an archaic term that does not reflect the reality of the job ­— I think it is time the producers of the show accept that."

Lincolnshire's Chief Fire Officer, Les Britzman, said firefighters nationally and local residents have raised concerns the term does not reflect the fire service.

"It is important to us that our open days and community events don't make anyone feel excluded and therefore we took this decision," he said.

"We always make sure that we include plenty of activities and other ways to engage children and adults, to help them learn more about fire safety and a firefighter's role."

As a result of the decision, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue will use its own characters ­— fire extinguishers Freddy and Filbert ­— going forward.

The Fireman Sam children’s show, set in the fictional Welsh town of Pontypandy, has previously come under fire after people called for producers to ditch the term.

Critics believe that by not using the gender-neutral term 'firefighter', the show is putting young girls off considering a career in the fire service.


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