Like most of us I've had past lives, one of which was being a young firefighter - in fact, I was hailed as the first female firefighter in the UK at the time.
I loved that world and being a firefighter, but my sense of adventure came into play and off I went on my travels around the world for the next few years.
I was eventually encouraged to write my story by a friend, and after four years of pitching had a contract to write Fire Woman - so in 2016 I was once again back in the UK with a short deadline to finish the work.
Fire Woman was published in 2017, and I realised that I had a voice and a story worth sharing as so few women around the world (even in 2023) are firefighters, and it's a fabulous job for us,but there are so few visible role models.
Sadly there are often extreme gender bias challenges for women, coloured, or anything other than white male firefighters. They are made to feel unwanted, and openly discrimated against, right now London Fire Brigade, among othes in in special measures following recent enquiries.
This has given me an ongoing opportunity to be interviewed live, and remotely for my take on things and ideas for how to improve fire brigades.
I've been touched and honoured to be asked to speak by local groups in the UK to internatonal media - and was even invited to Australia to speak to FRNSW.
I wonder if I can help you with being visible role model - using Zoom, or any way that you prefer, busting stereotypes at a group, school, business, community or anywhere else I can share my story, making it fun way for people of all ages and backgrounds to re-think the way they think about their jobs and career paths.
Empowering folks is my happy place.
Re Siem Reap-
I know there are so many other really important challenges for the Cambodian community, and I appreciate this may not be as important as many, many necessary projects -but I thought I would put it out there.
Re The rest of the world the tech works brilliantly, with lots of live interviews taking place, so remote speaking is such an easy thing now. So if you are OK with using me as a Zoom speaker / remote somehow- then great.
Let me know if you want to meet to chat - there's certainly no obligation (if you have any budget that's helpful) but I am equally happy to speak for no fee.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Look forward to hearing from you!
"Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton is one the most senior fire fighters in the UK. The current Chief Fire Officer of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has in her 22 year career covered major incidents such as the London Bridge terror attack, the Finsbury Park terror attack and the aftermath of Grenfell. Last month on Woman’s Hour we discussed the fire service after recent reports hit the headlines of allegations of bullying and sexual harassment of female fire fighters at different services. Last year, an independent review found the London Fire Brigade to be institutionally racist and misogynistic. Just seven percent of fire fighters are women and there are even less in high leadership roles. Sabrina joins Nuala to talk about her new book The Gender Bias The Barriers That Hold Women Back, And How to Break Them, which unpicks why women are judged differently, and how we can tackle those biases, and also tells us whether she thinks the fire service has a problem with women."
"Two people are firefighters and do the same job. When one is asked what they do for a living, their response is met with: 'That's amazing, you are so brave!', while the other is asked: 'Isn't that dangerous? Aren't you scared? What about your kids?' Can you guess the difference between the two?"
The Gender Bias: The Barriers That Hold Women Back, And How To Break Them
"And how firefighters in particular believe they may have been harmed by it…"
"Wayne Crossman, a firefighter deployed to the oil depot after the huge explosion in 2005, suspects firefighting foam contributed to his myeloid leukaemia
Revealed: scale of ‘forever chemical’ pollution across UK and Europe
What are PFAS, how toxic are they and how do you become exposed?
The oil depot fire raged for three days. “Wherever you looked, you could see devastation. The windows of the buildings were blown out and all the cars were damaged,” recalls Wayne Crossman, a 43-year-old firefighter from London who attended the scene."
#firewoman #PFAS #chemical #foreverchemical #pollution"
Firefighters on Trial
A damning report into the culture of London Fire Brigade found a toxic mix of racism, sexism, misogyny and bullying. Launched after a young firefighter of colour took his own life, the review included terrible anonymous accounts from those serving in the capital, women groped during exercises, a black man who had a noose left on his locker. Now File on 4 has discovered shocking new evidence of problems within the fire service elsewhere across the UK. We hear from those subjected to sexual assault, violence and bullying while working on the frontline, left suicidal as a result of the treatment they suffered at the hands of colleagues and those who were hounded out or chose to walk away from a career they loved.
FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh’s request for ‘out of the box thinking’ sparked demotion drama:
"FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh asked her top brass for fresh ideas to tackle issues within the department, but her chiefs were more interested in how far outside the city they could drive their take-home cars without getting in trouble, a recording exclusively acquired by the Daily News reveals.
The pivotal Feb. 3 meeting, in which Kavanagh demanded “innovative outside the box thinking” from her staff chiefs led to the demotions of three chiefs and the resignations of four others, touching off an internal crisis at the top of the department that has exploded into public view.
The confusing back-and-forth between Kavanagh and her staff chiefs is a startling example of the uphill climb the city’s first woman fire commissioner has faced as head of a 17,000-member agency steeped in tradition.
Four months into her term, Kavanagh has already hit a roadblock — at least four staff chiefs, including Chief of Department John “Jack” Hodgens, the most senior uniformed official in the FDNY, and Chief of Fire Operations John Esposito resigned their ranks this week, outraged that the commissioner personally demoted three other staff chiefs who were considered “bad apples.”
"Dorset Police are investigating allegations that firefighters at Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service had taken photos of women who had died in car accidents and shared the images on a Whatsapp group. In the group, male firefighters are alleged to have made degrading comments about the victims. Several female firefighters also spoke of sexual harassment, including claims a male firefighter demanded sexual favours at the scene of a fire. Nazir Afzal, the former chief prosecutor for North West England who carried out an independent review into the London Fire Brigade last year and Zoe Billingham, former head of the Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue consider if the fire service has a problem with its culture, and in particular women."
"Paul Brand @PaulBrandITV
Great discussion on @BBCWomansHour following our @itvnews investigation into Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service last week, where firefighters are accused of aggressive sexual harassment and sharing photographs of women who died in car crashes."
"An investigation has been launched after allegations that firefighters working for Dorset and Wiltshire fire service photographed women who had died in car accidents.
The disturbing images were shared on an informal WhatsApp group and were then subject to demeaning comments from male firefighters, ITV News uncovered.
A whistleblower, speaking anonymously to the broadcaster, said: “I’ve seen people make comments about the type of underwear the women are wearing in the car crash.”
Another female firefighter said the retrieval of a dead body from a crash “should tear you apart” not “make you want to take photos of it” or joke about it."
Independent Culture Review
The review is in a PDF form - just follow the link in the article.
It's worth taking some time to absorb the information.
FIREWOMAN #inclusion #ethics #LFB #CulturalReview
Gutsy Girls, may we see them, may we be them!