Legendary children’s TV character Fireman Sam has been shown the door by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Les Britzman, the county’s chief fire officer, has confirmed that Fireman Sam will no longer be used to promote the service.
This is because he is not ‘inclusive’ and does not reflect the fact that many firefighters are now women.
Mr Britzman said: “We are trying to save people’s lives here, not be politically correct. But the character is outdated.
“The reason more women don’t want to be firefighters is because of images like Fireman Sam.”
The service took the decision to jettison Fireman Sam after receiving negative feedback from its station open-day posters and advertising material, which featured him.
Mr Britzman added: “Concern has been raised that Fireman Sam does not reflect the fire service today, in terms of both the job itself and our workforce.
“It is important to us that our open days and community events don’t make anyone feel excluded. We include plenty of activities to help people learn more about fire safety and a firefighter’s role.”
Fireman Sam is to be replaced in the service’s promotional material by its own characters, fire extinguishers Freddy and Filbert.
The TV show carrying Sam’s name has been running since the 1980s, and supporters say it is trying to mirror modern society. It now features female firefighter Penny Morris, as well as disabled and ethnic-minority characters.
In England, 5.2 per cent of women are firefighters.