September 9, 2019 3.01 pm This story is over 56 months old

Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue drops Fireman Sam over inclusivity complaint

Is this the right move?

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue will no longer use Fireman Sam to promote the service after local residents complained that he was not “inclusive” enough.

An email seen by The Lincolnite revealed how Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue received negative feedback on their station open day posters and advertising material.

The email from an authority figure in the fire service stated: “A decision has been made not to include images of Fireman Sam on posters or advertising going forward, as it does not reflect the inclusive nature of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

“Please can you ensure when you are designing posters that Fireman Sam is not used and more inclusive images are utilised.

“This also includes no longer using the Fireman Sam costumes on stations and using the Freddy and Filbert costumes instead.”

Freddy and Filbert are ‘more inclusive.’ Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire’s chief fire officer, Les Britzman, said: “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.”

As a result of the pressure, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue will use its own characters, fire extinguishers Freddy and Filbert, going forward in any promotional material.

The 32-year-old Fireman Sam children’s show, set in the fictional Welsh town of Pontypandy, has come under fire after people called for producers to use the term ‘firefighter’ instead of ‘fireman.’

Critics believe that by not using the gender-neutral term, the show is putting young girls off considering a career in the fire service.