South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) has 35 female firefighters working across the Service out of around 1,300 firefighters keeping the communities of South Wales safe from risk. This is 2.4% of the operational workforce and the Service hopes to increase this percentage in the long term.

The Service, in its commitment to equality and diversity is launching a research project that will help SWFRS to understand what the girls and women who live in South Wales think about being a firefighter and how they can encourage more to apply.

As the research project is being launched as part of International Day of the Girl, SWFRS hopes that it can increase awareness of what the role of firefighter means in today’s society, which includes attending incidents, but also the influence that firefighters have in their communities.

Mark Malson, Head of HR for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said, “Women make up 51% of the UK population, therefore, it is essential that in today’s society that we, as a Service, are representing our communities fairly. The role of a firefighter is changing as we have seen a reduction in fires in South Wales in the last 10 years and this continues to decrease as we raise awareness through prevention activity in our communities, which is a large part of what our firefighters do.

“As a Service, we are proactively working to encourage more women to apply to the role of a firefighter and this research project will give us an opportunity to understand why there are still barriers to women and girls applying. We hope that the results will provide insight that will shape how we recruit in the future, but also make sure that we are doing enough to promote the role of a firefighter as a whole.”

The research project and its survey will run from today (October 11th), until the end of February 2018, with the results and recommendations published on International Women’s Day on 8th March 2018.

Any girls or women living in South Wales, who wish to take part in the research project should contact South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and its Recruitment team to register their interest.