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Firefighting like a girl

6 March 2020

Alumna challenges firefighting gender stereotypes in new children’s book

A former English Literature student has written a children's book to spread a message of girl power.

Alumna Emma Greenhalgh put pen to paper to inspire girls that they can be heroes too.

And this International Women’s Day (March 8th) Firefighter Ruby children’s book is hoping to share the message far and wide.

The former journalist now working for the Fire Service wanted to set right misconceptions around firefighting. Latest figures show there’s 6.4% female firefighters in England.

Communications Manager for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Emma said: “When a 999 emergency call comes in, it’s incredible to see firefighters jump into action. For them it’s all about being one team, totally focused on saving lives and protecting people and property.

“Everyone in the team is trained, skilled and valued. Despite some myths to the contrary, the entry tests to get into the Fire Service are the same for everyone. In reality the Fire Service is a welcoming place for men and women alike.”

“I wanted to write this book to deliver a really positive message at a grassroots level, to show little girls that they can be heroes too! The book is aimed at engaging children with a fun adventure story, which also teaches them about the different types of rescues the Fire Service carries out, whilst opening up the door to future possibilities.”

The rescue mission within the story is designed to grab the attention of aimed at four to eight-year-olds and is set against the underlying ‘can do’ message.  The characters developed go on to redefine stereotypical concepts of bravery and strength, before championing kindness, teamwork and self-belief.

Emma added: “I really hope Firefighter Ruby can show girls the sky is the limit. A career in firefighting, and the chance to make a difference and help people, is so often described to me as ‘the best job in the world’. I hope this book make girls and women aware that there’s a place in the Fire Service family for them.”

Written by Emma Greenhalgh and illustrated by Sarah-Leigh Wills, Firefighter Ruby: Because Girls Can Be Heroes Too! is available now. For more information, follow #BecauseGirlsCanBeHeroesToo.

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