Women in the fire service

Published:  25 July, 2018

Officers and support staff from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service attended the Women in Fire Service National Training and Development weekend held at the UK Fire Service College in June.

Women in the Fire Service is an organisation dedicated to developing a culture of equality of opportunity for women in the fire service and aims to support all women in achieving their full potential.

More than 210 delegates from 25 UK fire and rescue services as well as international delegates attended the 2018 event, for which the theme was ‘Building confidence for a stronger future’. Speakers included Dany Cotton, Commissioner of London Fire Brigade, and Moira Cameron, Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London, the UK’s first female beefeater.

In addition to the speakers, the event included practical sessions such as fire behaviour, urban search and rescue, incident command, and first aid. There was also a fitness for women session that covered disciplines such as body balance, yoga and pilates, and a range of sessions covering issues such as reducing stress and sleeping well, authentic conversations, and public speaking.

Both men and women attended the event, as delegates and instructors. Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mark Andrews was at the event promoting HeForShe, an initiative inviting people around the world to stand together to create gender equality. 
Mark said: ‘It was a great chance to highlight the important issue of gender equality through the HeForShe campaign which seeks to encourage us all to take steps to do more for equality. It was great to see so many colleagues – both male and female – bringing equality to life and getting involved in the weekend. Those I spoke to took a great deal of learning and confidence from the experience.’
 A number of East Sussex FRS staff attended the event. Many commented on the supportive and inclusive atmosphere as well as the informative and inspiring presentations and practical sessions. Burwash Firefighter Antonia Price, attending for the second year in a row, added that the event provides a great confidence boost. ‘Yet again I come away feeling like I can do anything I put my mind too.’

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