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Too white and too masculine: Firemen drop mascots

A fire service in the UK has taken the decision to axe a popular TV character as their mascot.

Published: September 12, 2019, 10:56 am

    Lincolnshire

    The Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service said that they had received negative feedback because the mascot Fireman Sam was not inclusive enough. He had been used by the fire service for promotions, education and advertising.

    Instead, gender neutral blue, red and yellow mascots will be introduced, said Chief fire officer Lez Britzman. “Firefighters nationally and residents locally have raised some concerns that Fireman Sam doesn’t reflect the fire service today, in terms of both the job itself and our workforce.

    “It’s important to us that our open days and community events don’t make anyone feel excluded and therefore we took this decision. We always make sure that we include plenty of activities and other ways to engage children and adults, to help them learn more about fire safety and a firefighter’s role.”

    An email has been circulated nationwide instructing fire stations not to use Fireman Sam in the future. In March this year the iconic brave Fireman Sam was banned along with Peppa Pig for encouraging “gender stereotypes”.

    “We are currently fighting very hard to recruit firefighters, but women do not want to come to us, they just do not apply,” said Britzmann. It was “a sad fact that 95 percent of our workforce is men”.

    London Fire Brigade denounced Peppa Pig for using the term “fireman” and not “firefighter” in an episode called The Fire Engine. The service tweeted: “Come on @peppapig, we’ve not been firemen for 30 years. You have a huge influence on kids & using out of date stereotypical gender specific wording prevents young girls from becoming firefighters.”

    In 2017 only 5,2 per cent of firefighters were women.

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