Josephine Reynolds, the first female firefighter in the UK, gave a presentation to West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service today as the organisation celebrated International Women’s Day.
Jo shared her inspirational true story, of how a determined young woman in 1982 applied for the local fire service and unwittingly became a media star.
Author of the book, Fire Woman, Jo discussed how she dealt with constant judgement and pressure to succeed.
“When I started the training I was told that people thought it was a publicity stunt, and not a real job for a woman let alone a little girl, but I knew I could do it. I was excited about the job and excited about the world,” said Jo.
“It wasn’t my intention to fit into a man’s world – that was the job I wanted to do so I just didn’t have the choice. I loved the challenge of the training which I found fascinating. You don’t know from one minute to the next what’s going to happen, and that’s one reason I loved the job. The fire service is an amazing career. It’s such an interesting and rewarding way to spend your days – it’s a life choice. You’re helping people, and I loved that side of it.”
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #Breakthebias.