Women who have never considered a career as a firefighter before are being urged to ‘have a go’, at a specially arranged event in Sheffield.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) is hoping for dozens of women to sign up for the session which is being held as part of a fresh drive to make the service more representative of the communities it serves.
The ‘Have A Go’ event aims to clarify and dispel many of the preconceptions people from under-represented areas of the community might have about joining the fire service.
SYFR is calling on women to sign-up for the event and find out what it takes to become a firefighter with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “Perceptions of the fire service as being a white male dominated organisation are changing and here in South Yorkshire we have already come a very long way, with firefighters from underrepresented groups including many women on the front line at fire stations all over the county.
“But at the same time we fully accept that we still have a long way to go before we become truly representative of the communities which we serve. The role of a firefighter has changed considerably in recent years, and we now play a vital social role, including youth work, fire safety initiatives and carrying out free home safety checks.
“The aim of this campaign is to give under represented groups, including women, an insight into what the role and selection process entails, and hopefully make them think about a career they may never have considered before.”
Last year, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue appointed its first new firefighters in eight years. The eight recruits have completed their initial training and have joined fire stations following a passing out parade in Sheffield last week.
Although there are no immediate plans to open recruitment for full time firefighters, there remain opportunities for on-call firefighters and the service is keen to raise awareness of firefighting as a career amongst diverse groups should it recruit for frontline roles in the future.
The ‘Have A Go Day’ for women will take place at SYFR’s Handsworth training base on Saturday 13 February.