From raging infernos to sub-zero snowstorms: five female firefighters from London and Wales are exchanging one extreme environment for its polar opposite in their quest to empower women and raise mental health awareness. Health & Fitness Correspondent Lorna King talks to the Angels about their Antarctic expedition
Nakita Ross, Georgina (George) Gilbert, Alison Kibblwhite, Rebecca Rowe and Nikki Upton are the Antarctic Fire Angels, and in November 2023 they will attempt to set a world record as the first all-female emergency services team to ski 1,900km across Antarctica in approximately 70 days, enduring temperatures of -50 degrees centigrade and wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Would you swap the occupational comfort of a warming blaze for such conditions? To be honest, neither environment sits comfortably in my mind, but the sheer scale of such a challenge, and the mental and physical preparations required to achieve such a thing, prompted me to investigate further.
At the end of April, I had the pleasure of meeting (virtually) four of the five Angels for a chat about hopes, fears, inspiration and the sponsorship needed to aid their self-funded mission. But before I delve into the meanderings of our conversation, it is important to understand the origins of the expedition.