Firewomen prove they exist to four-year-old Esme

UK
London Fire Brigade firewomenImage copyright LFB
Image caption Firewomen took to Twitter to prove they exist

Firewomen have posted pictures of themselves on social media after a four-year-old girl said she thought only men could sign up.

Hannah Summers tweeted how her daughter Esme wished she was a boy so she could be a firefighter, as she only saw firemen in the books she read.

It has prompted firewomen across the country to post videos and pictures on Twitter to prove they exist.

Ms Summers later tweeted Esme “firmly believes she can be a firefighter”.

On Friday, freelance journalist Ms Summers, from London, asked on Twitter if there were any books or videos with women firefighters.

She said: “My four-year-old came home yesterday saying she wished she was a boy so she could be a fireman.

“When I said ‘girls can be firefighters too’, she said ‘but I’ve seen in books they are all boys and I don’t want to be the only girl’.”

Among the first to reply was West Midlands Fire Service with a video carrying messages from serving female firefighters.

They tweeted: “Esme, lots of our firefighters are girls and boys – some of them want to say hello to you!”

It was not long before other firewomen replied, even from as far away as New York City.

London Fire Brigade firewomen stationed in Ealing tweeted: “We are London firefighters and we are girls. Hope we can meet you one day?”

Another firewoman Rebecca Rowe tweeted: “I’m also a firefighter in the London Fire Brigade. Your daughter can be anything she wants.

“Don’t let gender stand in the way.”

Following the outpouring of motivational messages, Hannah Summers later tweeted: “Esme now firmly believes 100% that she can be a girl and a firefighter so thanks again – job done.

“She’s also very excited about the invite to visit and would like to try on the yellow helmet!”

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) praised the video but said more needed to be done to recruit women in the fire service. According to the council, 95 percent of firefighters in England are male and white.

It found during 2016 and 2017 WMFS had 36 percent of female candidates deselect themselves from the recruitment process on the physical assessment day stage.

It was later discovered these applicants did not believe they would be fit enough, despite them exercising regularly.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption According to the National Fire Chiefs Council 95 percent of firefighters in England are white and male

Currently only eight percent of uniformed fire staff in WMFS are female.

A West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said: “West Midlands Fire Service are committed to having a workforce that truly represents the community that it serves.

“The message by Esme’s mum just goes to highlight the stereotypes that still exist around women being firefighters despite WMFS having female firefighters for the past 30 years.”

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