Chatteris' first on-call firefighter, Chloe Housden, shares her story to encourage other women to join 'have a go' events

PUBLISHED: 10:59 21 September 2017

Chloe Housden is the first female on-call firefighter at Chatteris Fire Station. PHOTO: Cambs Fire.

Chloe Housden is the first female on-call firefighter at Chatteris Fire Station. PHOTO: Cambs Fire.

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The first female on-call firefighter for Chatteris Fire Station has shared her story of how she joined the team to encourage other women to do the same.

Since attending a ‘have a go’ event in 2015, Chloe Housden became a wholetime firefighter at Cambridge Fire Station and recently joined the Chatteris on-call team.

“I really wanted a job that would challenge me on a daily basis both physically and mentally,” she said.

“I wanted to help and interact with people from all different walks of life. I also, quite simply, wanted a job I was extremely proud of, which I am.

“I’ve always been a girlie girl and I was worried I wouldn’t fit in, but was made to feel very welcome.

“What surprised me the most about the job was the amount of work firefighters do in the community.

“It’s not all fighting fires and cutting people out of cars. We go into people’s houses to fit smoke alarms, we go into schools for safety talks and we work closely with other agencies.”

Talking about her strengths as a firefighter, Chloe said her petite frame (five foot two inches) helps her get into small spaces.

“My one piece of advice to other women considering a career as a firefighter is: don’t worry about strength or it being a male dominated workplace, you would be made to feel nothing but welcome.”

The service is hosting two ‘have-a-go’ events on Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14, to encourage more women and people from a variety of backgrounds to consider firefighting as a career.

The event, taking place at Huntingdon Fire Station, will be split into two sessions each day, from 8.30am until noon and 12.30pm until 4pm, with the Friday morning and Saturday afternoon sessions being for women only.

Those signing up can try out some of the activities that a firefighter needs to be able to do, meet those who do the job and look at some of the equipment used in the role.

To attend one of the sessions you must book in advance. Call 01480 444500 to book your place or e-mail recruitment@cambsfire.gov.uk

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