AN injured mum saved when her tot dialled 999 after watching Fireman Sam has blasted a fire service’s ban on character as “ridiculous”.
Gemma Harris, 32, was knocked unconscious when she fell down the stairs but was saved by son Alfie, five, who knew to call for help thanks to his Welsh cartoon hero.
Mum Gemma says Alfie was able to save her life and 999 because he watched Fireman Sam[/caption]
The mum – from Lincolnshire where Sam is banned – says she would not be alive today without the character and demanded chiefs drop the “bonkers” decision to scrap him for being a man.
Gemma of Sleaford, Lincs., told The Sun: “After all I went through I can’t believe they are going to ban Fireman Sam. It just seems ridiculous.
“There is a real chance I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Fireman Sam because he was my son’s, favourite TV programme.
“If it wasn’t for what he learnt from the show he wouldn’t have rung 999 and I might not be here. To say it is sexist or not inclusive is just daft.
“He is a Fireman, and he is called Sam, which can be a woman’s name anyway, I’ve got a good friend called Sam and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.
There is a real chance I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Fireman Sam
“Alfie is now eight, so he has grown out of the show a bit, but he still remembers how important Fireman Sam was at the time in helping me.”
She added: “Surely what matters here is the safety message. Rather than banning Sam they should just include his colleague Penny in ads.”
Gemma suffered a serious neck injury following the tumble, in November 2016 but has since made a full recovery.
At the time of the accident Gemma revealed: “Alfie loves Fireman Sam and knows who to call in an emergency.
The mum spoke out after The Sun revealed cash-strapped Lincolnshire Fire Service had wasted time banning the figure from promotional material and events for being ‘sexist’.
An internal email ordered staff to replace the hero – who has been on our screens for 32 years -with in-house creations, the fire extinguisher-shaped Freddy, Filbert and Penelope.
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The email to stations read: “It does not reflect the inclusive nature of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.”
Lincolnshire’s Chief Fire Officer, Les Britzman, yesterday (Weds) described ratings hit Sam as “outdated” mascot.
He said: “It’s important to us that our open days and community events don’t make anyone feel excluded and therefore we took this decision.
The Welsh cartoon hero was banned because he’s too male and puts women off joining the fire brigade[/caption]
Piers tells fire chief: Go sack yourself
By Lottie Tiplady-Bishop
PIERS Morgan told the fire chief who axed Fireman Sam as a mascot: “You should fire yourself.”
The Good Morning Britain host raged at Lincolnshire Fire Service’s Les Britzman as he said the move was to encourage more female recruits.
He said: “Why are you not a woman if you feel so furious that the front person for the fire service should be male?
“Will you be resigning then, given that you feel so strongly about this?”
Piers also pointed out the cartoon includes a diverse cast of characters.
But Mr Britzman suggested the issue is the use of the term “fireman” rather than “firefighter”.
He wants a 50-50 gender split in his service, but said: “The reason more women don’t want to be firefighters is because of images like Fireman Sam.”
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