Parkway station openingSouth Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) is hosting a special career day in Sheffield to encourage women and other minority groups to consider a career as a firefighter.

The ‘Have A Go’ event will take place at SYFR’s Handsworth training base on 13 February and aims to dispel preconceptions people from under-represented areas of the community might have about joining the fire service.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: "Perceptions of the fire service as being a white male dominated organisation are changing and here in South Yorkshire we have already come a very long way, with firefighters from underrepresented groups including many women on the front line at fire stations all over the county.

"But at the same time we fully accept that we still have a long way to go before we become truly representative of the communities which we serve. The aim of this campaign is to give under represented groups, including women, an insight into what the role and selection process entails, and hopefully make them think about a career they may never have considered before."

Last year, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue appointed its first new firefighters in eight years. The eight recruits have completed their initial training and have joined fire stations following a passing out parade in Sheffield last week.

Although there are no immediate plans to open recruitment for full time firefighters, there remain opportunities for on-call firefighters and the service is keen to raise awareness of firefighting as a career amongst diverse groups should it recruit for frontline roles in the future.

Those joining may also have the opportunity to operate out of a new multi-million pound fire station at Sheffield Parkway after it was officially opened by burns' survivor Joe Bowers and Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts.

The £4 million facility improves South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s service to Sheffield’s major industrial sites, new housing developments in the area and road traffic collisions on Sheffield Parkway.

It houses a full time fire engine and an aerial appliance and also features a community room with audio visual facilities, for use by local residents for meetings and events. The station started receiving its first 999 calls in July 2015.

Red watch firefighters performed a breathing apparatus demonstration in front guests, who included teachers and pupils from nearby Pipworth Community Primary School. Other invitees included Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton, members of South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority and staff from contractors BAM Construction Ltd.

Speaking at the event Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, said: “The financial pressures the fire and rescue service faces are both well documented and unprecedented. But this fantastic new facility is the best possible physical reminder of the fact that despite the challenges we face we remain absolutely committed to supporting our future.

“The site was carefully chosen to improve our emergency response service to the city’s major industrial sites as well as new housing developments nearby and incidents on Sheffield Parkway. But this project has also been about providing our firefighters with a workplace which is befitting of their skills and the vital role they play in our communities.”

If you are a woman and want to find out more about a career with the fire service visit