Female firefighters can finally wear a uniform suited to their bodies rather than putting up with an adapted version of the men’s suit.
The Fire and Rescue Service said that better-fitted protective clothing, which includes uniforms for maternity and sports wear, will encourage more women to consider careers as a firefighters.
The new uniforms also recognise the needs of different cultures. For example, hajib (headscarf), full length skirts, long sleeved shirts and turban options are available.
The uniform announcement comes just days after the Fire and Rescue Service agreed to new diversity targets: by 2013, 15% of all recruits to the operational sector must be women – an increase from the 2008 recruitment figure of 9.2% – and the proportion of ethnic minority staff should be representative of the local community.
Fire Minister Sadiq Khan said: “We want the widest range of applicants to apply to join the Fire and Rescue Service. To do achieve this it is important that all applicants – men and women – know that the uniform and clothing they will be issued with will not only protect them but will also fit properly and be comfortable.”
The Department for Communities and Local Government helped to fund the garment testing as part of its investment to ensure that the Fire and Rescue Service has the equipment it needs to provide a modern fire service.