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Fire service boss bans the word ‘firemen’ telling staff it’s a ‘micro-aggression’ | UK | News

A fire service boss has told staff he’s banning the use of the word “firemen” because it’s a “micro-aggression”.

The common term is often used by the public to describe members of the flame-tackling emergency service, but it has not been officially used since the 1980s when it was replaced by “firefighter”.

Service boss Dave Russell has taken issue with those still using “firemen” and sent an email to staff decrying its stubborn prevalence, the Daily Mail reports.

Mr Russell, the Greater Manchester Chief Fire Officer, who is paid £172,000 a year, took time to compose his message asking staff to outlaw the term.

He wrote: “We employ firefighters not ‘firemen’ and haven’t for decades so why use the term?

“Here it regularly slips into people’s everyday vocabulary, and it very often goes unnoticed and unchallenged because it’s just become “the way things are around here”.

“But its connotation is sexist, exclusionary and represents a form of microaggression that is damaging to our culture.”

Mr Russell said the use of “firemen” needed to stop and be “permanently erased from our vocabulary”.

It’s not known what disciplinary action, if any, those caught still saying the word or using it in communications will face.

Andy Morgan, a former member of Greater Manchester Fire Authority, told the Mail: “It’s ridiculous. It’s wokeism gone mad.”

Sir John Hayes, of the Common Sense Group of Tory MPs, said he would flag the incident to fire minister Chris Philp as the fire service should be focusing on “protecting the public” rather than “nonsense”.

According to official figures, women make up just over eight per cent of firefighters in 2023, an increase from just 5.2 per cent in 2017.

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In another woke row, the Queen has urged authors to resist curbs on freedom of expression – in a clear reference to the Roald Dahl censorship battle.

A source close to Camilla said she was “shocked and dismayed” that publishers Puffin had made hundreds of changes to the ­original text of the much-loved ­children’s books.

The books have been edited – with the approval of the Roald Dahl Story Company, which manages the copyright and trademarks of the late author’s works – to remove or change references to weight, height, mental health, gender and skin colour to minimise the offence.

The edit included removing words such as “fat” and “ugly” as well as descriptions using the colours black and white.

But in a speech at a Clarence House reception to mark the second anniversary of her online book club, the Reading Room, the Queen told a group of assembled authors: “Please remain true to your calling, unimpeded by those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination.”

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*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.