Fireman Sam axed by Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue - because he's a man

News: Fireman Sam axed by Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue – because he’s a man

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue have axed Fireman Sam from promoting their service after complaints he wasn’t inclusive enough.

The service have come under heavy fire from those who are criticising the decision, branding it ‘political correctness gone mad’.

Initially, Fireman Sam was used alongside two fire extinguishers named Freddie and Filbert as a mascot used to encourage recruitment to the service.

Now, after complaints from staff members and the public, Sam has been dropped in the hope of recruiting more women.

 

Les Britzman, Chief Fire Officer for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, appeared on Good Morning Britain today, September 11, and was involved in a fiery debate with host Piers Morgan.

Mr Britzman said: “Fireman Sam, and the character, is just outdated – that’s all.”

Chief Fire Officer Les Britzman
(Image: Anna Draper/ Lincolnshire Echo)

Piers replied: “What’s wrong with Sam, the character?”

“The character itself is dated,” he said.

“I think the producers would probably get more if they brought themselves up to date a bit, really, that’s all we’re asking.

“You’ve basically ditched a bloke for two bloke fire extinguishers,” said Piers.

“Do you see the problem there?

Piers Morgan was involved in a heated debate with the Chief Fire Officer at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue this morning
(Image: ITV)

“My problem is that certain jobs attract more men than women – we shouldn’t be afraid of that or embarrassed about it.”

Mr Britzman later spoke to BBC Radio Lincolnshire, saying: “We haven’t banned Fireman Sam.

“What we were saying is after following complaints from staff and members of the public we’ve decided it’s no longer appropriate to use that image in our promotional material.

 

He continued: “We’re not here to pander to people’s views – or pander to Piers Morgan’s views.

“Fireman Sam is not our brand – we can’t freely use that and put it in our promotional material. We haven’t got rid of him because he’s a man but because FireMAN Sam does not reflect the image we want to achieve.

“It really is an issue in Lincolnshire – we struggle to recruit on call staff massively and if we’re excluding women from applying, because the research says women don’t even want to apply – not that they can’t do the job.

(Image: Handout)

“It is [to do with Fireman Sam]. These images have an impact on that mindset at a very early age and they form what people want to do.”

When asked how many complaints were lodged about the mascot,  he admitted that it was ‘not many’ but that a decision was made not to use Sam anymore to promote Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

 

Fireman Sam is now the number one trending topic worldwide on Twitter.

Many have criticised the fire service for their stance, while others crticised Piers Morgan for the way he spoke to Mr Britzman during the exchange.

The news made the front page of the Sun today, September 11 with the headline ‘Fired-man Sam’.



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