A firefighting life for women

A firefighter in uniform and two taster session women in protective equipment pose to camera

Shropshire firefighter Louise Fletcher (right) with Lindsay Jones and Laura Davies (front) at last year’s women firefighter taster session

Shropshire women are being encouraged to consider the opportunity of becoming part time paid firefighters. A “taster” day will be held at Craven Arms Fire Station in the south of the county on March 8 in a bid to attract more women into the service.

The job description includes being physically fit and reliable but the brigade is keen to “dispel the myths” that firefighters must be “super strong” or male.

They can talk to women who are already firefighters, find out what the duties involve, tour the fire station and get recruitment and career information.

Shropshire has one of the highest proportion of “on call” firefighters in the UK with 80 per cent of its brigade made up of highly skilled part-time recruits who work a designated number of hours each week. They turn out to deal with a wide range of emergencies including car crashes, house and business fires, water rescues, floods, building collapses and animal rescues.

They also work hard to educate the public in fire prevention as part of a community fire safety role. Firefighters must live or work within five minutes of the county’s 22 often rural fire stations, attend weekly drill nights and are trained to a high skill level.

“We want to dispel the myths that firefighters have to be large, burly, macho or super strong,” said organiser Laura Kavanagh-Jones. “Women have been firefighters in Shropshire for many years. It’s good pay, brings lots of public recognition and you work close to home.”

Would be recruits will be able to look at some of the physical fitness tests required to join the service and talk to a fitness instructor. The taster day starts at 9.30am on March 8. For more information contact Laura at brigade HQ on 01743 260 189. The event follows a successful women’s taster event held in Oswestry last year.

24th February, 2014