Fireman Sam has been axed from fire service posters because he isn’t inclusive enough.
According to various reports, Sam will be being replaced with a more inclusive duo: Freddy and Filbert.
The news was announced through an email which was sent by an ‘authority figure in the fire service’.
The email stated: “A decision has been made not to include images of Fireman Sam on posters or advertising going forward, as it does not reflect the inclusive nature of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.
“Please can you ensure when you are designing posters that Fireman Sam is not used and more inclusive images are utilised.
“This also includes no longer using the Fireman Sam costumes on stations and using the Freddy and Filbert costumes instead.”
Lincolnshire’s chief fire officer Les Britzman addressed the reports afterwards, saying it was important that the fire service reflected its local community.
He declared: “Firefighters nationally and residents locally have raised some concerns that ‘Fireman Sam’ doesn’t reflect the fire service today, in terms of both the job itself and our workforce.
“It’s important to us that our open days and community events don’t make anyone feel excluded and therefore we took this decision.
“We always make sure that we include plenty of activities and other ways to engage children and adults, to help them learn more about fire safety and a firefighter’s role.”
However, the news has not gone down well with most.
A local resident from Lincoln, Joe Carter, spoke to The Sun and said: “Fireman Sam works for the fire service and is called Sam. What else do they need to include?
“You wonder if our fire chiefs are operating in the real world.”
Piers Morgan also had his say on the issue (of course) and scorned the fire chiefs for their decision.
Piers said: “[The show has been] bullied into doing everything he could possibly want and now you want to get rid of Fireman Sam!
“Why can’t fire services use the Fireman Sam brand? Why can’t you celebrate men and women? Why does everything have to be gender fluid?”
Mr Britzman responded to the criticism: “Lincolnshire is a modern brigade. We’re struggling to recruit firefighters. 50 percent of the population are women and [the brand] it’s simply not appealing.
“The image portrayed to young girls, who are three, four or five years old, if we are sending the wrong message at that age, were making a problem in terms of recruitment [later on].”
It’s been over 30 years since Fireman Sam set foot on our TV screens, which makes him an iconic character for children’s entertainment in Britain.
Let us know what you think down in the comments. Is this taking inclusivity too far?