Tina Is Face Of Fire Career Campaign
By Jo Deeks on Friday, 2nd June 2006.
Haverhill firefighter Tina Henderson is the face of a new campaign to raise awareness of careers for women in the fire service.
The single mum, who has been a whole-time firefighter for six years, is appearing in women's magazines and on posters in health clubs and pubs across the country.
Women are under-represented in the fire service. Only 3% of the operational firefighters in Suffolk are women - a much lower rate than in many traditionally male orientated jobs.
Tina said: "I'm really pleased to be involved in this campaign aimed at bringing more women to the fire service.
I love my life as a firefighter - it is a very worthwhile job and a great career. I am a single mum with two children and although it's not always easy to juggle home and job, it's not impossible and I know many working mums have the same issues.
The modern fire service is flexible and my male colleagues don't treat me any differently.
Strangely enough, it's the public that find it most surprising that women carry out exactly the same duties as men. People are often surprised that we fight fires - many think we carry out support duties, but that is definitely not the case."
Tina began her career by joining a retained crew in Norfolk and did this for two years before transferring to Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service as a whole-time firefighter. Her youngest child was then just 18 months old.
She was posted to Lowestoft but then moved back to her home town Haverhill to be nearer to her family.
Tina has been promoted to watch manager at Bury, although much of her time recently has been involved in recruitment.
Minister for the Fire and Rescue Service, MP Angela Smith, launched the campaign and met Tina with other female firefighters from all over the country.
The national recruitment advertising campaign focusses on high profile women's magazines, and is supported by posters, leaflets and postcards in health clubs, Sports Centres, cinemas and bars across England.
For information on joining the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service contact Suffolk County Council's Fire and Rescue Service on 01473 588888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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