Scottish fire services welcome a large increase in female firefighters
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The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service say a recruitment campaign this year made 771 females apply to become firefighters, reports Scottish STV News.
This is more than double the number received in previous years.
As a result, 31 of the first intake of 84 new firefighters who began their training last month are women this year.
Currently, according to STV, women make up less than 5% of Scotland's firefighters.
SFRS said it had also seen an increase in the number of applications from ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ+ community.
The applications were shortlisted "blindly" - meaning no identifying data was made available such as names, gender, age, ethnicity or sexuality.
Liz Barnes, director of human resources and organisational development, said:
"We encouraged under-represented groups to apply and the figures show that we have taken another step forward as an organisation in reflecting the very rich and diverse communities we serve.
"Our standards have never changed, and they are high - but if you have what it takes, then we will help you get there."
Cover Photo: (Above) Cataño, PR, October 25, 2009 -- Firefighter from the Volunteer Fire Department of Puerto Rico. Yuisa Rios/FEMA. This photo is not connected to the story.