Have-a-go office staff swapped pens for hoses at Hampshire Fire and Rescue to mark international Women’s Day.
The group of women were put through their paces by the fire service as they carried out simulated ladder lifts, hose-running, equipment carrying, hose techniques and even a search wearing full breathing apparatus.
All nine of the participants are members of the fire service staff and some are now considering applying to be on-call firefighters in their spare time.
Others just wanted an insight into the challenges that fire crews face on a regular basis.
Fiona Sale from the service administration team is now hoping to become an on-call firefighter. She said: “This was such a valuable insight into the challenges our crews face and it was inspiring to be coached by women who have already done it.”
Inclusion and diversity manager Leanne Illman said: “The day was a great success and gave us all a greater insight into the incredible work our firefighters do every day.
“It is also important to raise awareness that women are perfectly capable of becoming firefighters and are increasingly doing just that.
“The day was a lot of fun but it is also about giving more women a taste of what firefighters do and making people realise they can overcome challenges they may not have previously thought possible.”
The half-day event saw the team dressed in full fire kit, lifting weights in the appliance bay and practising running out hose reels on the drill yards.
County councillor Chris Carter, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority chairman, said he was “delighted to take part in the event”.
Cllr Carter said: “The high calibre of our firefighters is well known – and this has been highlighted by their hard work in exceptional conditions during the past week.
“It was extremely challenging although just a taste of the rigorous training our crews go through.
“I hope the event will raise awareness that women really can consider pursuing a career as a firefighter – whether full-time or on-call.”
Have a Go days are also being planned for members of the public to help boost diversity in the service.