First female firefighter joins service in Portishead
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 December 2019
Portishead Fire Station
Portishead Fire Station has recruited its first female firefighter in its history.
Jade Alexander, aged 30, started her role at the station in August.
She said she was 'shocked' to learn she was the first and only female firefighter to be hired by the station in Portishead and Jade is now actively encouraging more women to join the service.
The news comes after Blagdon Fire Station also recruited its first and only female firefighter in August 2018.
Katherine Shaw, aged 26, says the job is 'extremely rewarding' and there is a 'great sense of team spirit' among firefighters who collectively work for Avon Fire and Rescue Service.
Jade said: "I'm four months into the role and I'm absolutely loving my time at the fire service, it's one of the best things I've ever done.
"Sometimes, when I'm on duty and called out to a job, people I meet outside the service still don't know how to address me, as the word fireman is so synonymous with being a firefighter.
"I wasn't surprised to find out I'm the only female firefighter at the service, but I was surprised to learn I'm the first one to be recruited at this station, that really did shock me."
Jade completed a five-week intensive training course to become a firefighter and learnt the basics about the role including RTCs, search and rescue and more.
She is an on-call firefighter at the station and hopes to gain a full-time position at the service.
On-call firefighters work from their home or workplace, rather than a fire station.
According to Avon Fire, firefighters can earn more than £3,000 a year by offering full cover alongside their family and work life.
Jade continues: "I would say to those women who are thinking about joining the fire service to just go for it, women are so welcomed into the team.
"There's a real push for female firefighters and you'll get so much support if you join, it's like one big family here."
Data from Fire Brigades Union shows 41,771 of the 45,653 people rescued by UK firefighters last year were from non-fire incidents, such as flooding, road traffic collisions, height rescues, lift rescues, and hazardous chemical spillages.
To sign up to the fire service, visit www.yesyoucan.careers/on-call-firefighter