London Fire Brigade boss asks Fireman Sam team to rename him Firefighter Sam

Mayer Nissim October 17, 2017
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The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova, who completed 48 orbits of the Earth in her three days in space aboard Vostok 6, way back on June 16, 1963.

Yet it would be over a decade after that until a woman would join a fire brigade in the UK back down on Earth.

Sister Mary-Joy Langdon joined the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in 1976.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

And London only got its first female firefighter, Sue Batten, in 1982.

So you can understand why Dany Cotton, current London Fire Commissioner, thinks that more can be done to encourage women to join the Fire Brigade.

As part of her efforts, Cotton has been in touch with the makers of children’s cartoon Fireman Sam, and asked them to change the name of the show to be more gender-inclusive.

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“I have actually written to the makers of Fireman Sam and asked them on his 30th birthday to reconsider naming him Firefighter Sam to join in on the inclusive nature,” she told ITV News.

“I like the concept, I like the fact it’s a cartoon that educates people and helps children learn about the dangers of fire.

“But I really would like him to come on board and be called Firefighter Sam.”

She added: “The first woman firefighter joined London Fire Brigade in 1982 and it’s ridiculous that 35 years later people are still surprised to see women firefighters or calling them firemen.

Firefighters at Grenfell Tower
Firefighters at Grenfell Tower (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

“London is a complex and challenging city and it takes a diverse selection of skills, strengths and specialisms to protect it – qualities that both men and women possess.

“I want to shake off outdated language which we know is stopping young girls and women from considering this rewarding and professional career.

“We owe it to tomorrow’s firefighters to challenge negative stereotypes today.”

Related topics: Fireman Sam, london fire brigade

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