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SWFRS encouraging more women to take on firefighting roles

Fire and Rescue Service working to change attitudes of ‘traditional’ male role

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) are taking positive action to change societal attitudes when it comes to the role of the Firefighter; women currently make up 2.4% of operational Firefighters employed by the Service.

The role of the Firefighter is still seen by many as a male dominated profession, but the female Firefighters employed by SWFRS are a sign that this does not have to be the case. The role of a Firefighter, while physical when it comes to incident response, station crews also spend around 50% of their time working with the community raising awareness and reducing risk.

Recent Government figures show that the national average for female Firefighters is 4.1% across the UK Fire and Rescue Services.

Alison Kibblewhite, Head of Risk Reduction for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said,

“I think any campaign that shows that being a girl does not mean you can’t be a Firefighter is a welcome one. I joined the Fire Service over 20 years ago and have seen a positive shift in attitudes towards operational female Firefighters and believe that we can continue to highlight what it means to do this job. The role is more than just putting out fires, this is a fundamental part of the job, now it’s also about the positive impact and relationships we build with our communities as well. As a Service we believe that through raising awareness, we can reduce risk and keep South Wales safe. I have worked my way up the Service ladder and believe that any female Firefighter can do the same; I hope to see more women take up the firefighting mantle.”

The operational ranking in a Fire and Rescue Service is as follows:

• Firefighter
• Crew Manager
• Watch Manager
• Station Manager
• Group Manager
• Area Manager
• Assistant Chief Fire Officer 
• Deputy Chief Fire Officer
• Chief Fire Officer


Photograph BBC