A fire service has decided to stop using Fireman Sam as their mascot because he’s ‘not inclusive enough’.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue say the mascot has been axed because they had received negative feedback regarding his gender.
He frequently made appearances at open days, fundraising events and advertising materials, but has since been replaced with gender-neutral mascots.
The new mascots are called Freddy, Filbert and Penelope, and are blue, red and yellow fire extinguishers.
Chief Fire Officer Lez Britzman said: ‘Firefighters nationally and residents locally have raised some concerns that “Fireman Sam” doesn’t reflect the fire service today, in terms of both the job itself and our workforce.’
Explaining the decision, Lez added: ‘It’s important to us that our open days and community events don’t make anyone feel excluded and therefore we took this decision.
‘We always make sure that we include plenty of activities and other ways to engage children and adults, to help them learn more about fire safety and a firefighter’s role.’
In fact, an email has been sent to all fire stations across the country asking them to not use Fireman Sam in the future. This is an effort to make all fire stations more inclusive.
But celebrity chef James Martin wasn’t happy with this, taking to Twitter to vent his frustrations about the decision. In his rant, he mocks politically correct culture and says he now ‘identifies as an Otter’.
His rant reads: ‘Right that’s it, Fireman Sam is the last straw I’m done with this pc bollocks and 100 identities being taught. In a last stand to this outrageous madness I now wish to be known as an Otter.
‘I like other Otters and when you get bored of this crap in the world join me under water with other Otters, both male and female, and call enough and an end to this madness.’
Good Morning Britain also had a discussion about the decision, asking viewers whether or not they thought the character was ‘outdated’ or not.
Their poll has received 20,000 votes, with 87 per cent agreeing that classic children’s character Fireman Sam should be kept as a recognisable mascot.
One comment read: ‘If you’re deterred from applying to the fire service because of the image of one of the most iconic children’s characters then you won’t hack the job.’
Another added: ‘Sincerely doubt if a woman courageous enough to become a firefighter would be so offended and upset by a cartoon character called Fireman Sam that it would stop her joining the fire service!’
Another said that balance was important, adding: ‘It is not a bad thing to encourage young lads to join the fire service. Just add the female character too for balance. The way forward is not to delete male role models, just include more female ones!’
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