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  1. ITV Report

'No such thing as a fireman', says brigade chief

London's Fire Commissioner says the term 'fireman' is outdated and should stop being used.

Dany Cotton wants to encourage more women to become firefighters but says many think the profession is only for men. She's concerned that referring to 'firemen' reinforces that stereotype.

  • The term fireman was officially replaced with Firefighter in all from Brigade contracts in late 80s
  • In 1976 Sister Mary-Joy became the UK's first woman firefighter with East Sussex Fire and Rescue service
  • London’s first female firefighter was Sue Batten who joined London Fire Brigade in 1982. Around 60 other women joined in the 1980s
  • In 1975 USA recruits its first female firefighter in Arlington County, Virginia
  • In 1991 London had 50 female firefighters in the Brigade
  • In 2007 there were 189 female firefighters in London
  • There are now over 300 female firefighters in London Fire Brigade

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.

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I want to shake off outdated language which we know is stopping young girls and women from considering this rewarding and professional career.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

– Dany Cotton, London Fire Commissioner