The fire service in West Yorkshire has joined a bid to consign the word ‘fireman’ to history.
They are backing the #FirefightingSexism campaign to change the perception of who a firefighter is.
Dave Walton, deputy chief fire officer, said: “There have been comments like ‘I joined as a fireman, why are you trying to change this?’ and ‘haven’t you got better things to do?’
“It’s not about trying to change history or political correctness. Firefighter is a term we’ve used since the 1980s, we want the media and the public to catch up.
“It’s 2017 now, we are all firefighters.”
He said of over 6,000 applicants at the last recruitment drive around 700 were from women. Out of the current 900-strong workforce 45 are women.
Almondbury’s Clr Judith Hughes broke boundaries in becoming the first female chair of the Fire Authority and said: “It’s about a bid to reflect the community. It’s a historical thing and doesn’t reflect society now.
“If children learn the word ‘fireman’ from Fireman Sam or in school they’ll grow up with that term.
“We want to recruit more women, we recognise there’s always more we can do. We want to show women that becoming a firefighter is a profession for them.”
She said there was a taskforce looking at how they can better deal with issues women face, including the impact of the menopause on women in the workplace, which male colleagues were on board with too.