Love Island cliche 'puts off female firefighters', says brigade chief

ITV screengrab

Love Island has angered firefighters for its portrayal of the profession.

The head of the London Fire Brigade criticised ITV2 bosses for reinforcing the stereotype that firefighters are all muscle-bound men.

Commissioner Dany Cotton said it’s "offensive" and serves as a counter narrative that prevents women from being comfortable enough to join the service.

She criticised the show for "rolling out every offensive cliché possible with their so-called fireman challenge".

Ms Cotton adds that it:

Reinforces the misconception that all firefighters are muscle-bound men.

She added: "No wonder so many women are put off by that."

Cotton is the first woman to hold the London Fire Brigade’s highest position.

The fireman challenge saw the men of Love Island strip down to their underwear and ‘save’ a woman from behind a danger door. They would then undergo a number of challenges, including push-ups as they were being hosed down.

Female firefighters make up the minority in the UK, with just 300 of them in London - however, the industry is trying to change things.

In July, LFB revealed that record numbers of women have applied to become firefighters, with more than 700 applicants.

Cotton wants women to be more represented in the force.

Commissioner Cotton said:

We have a real chance to change the Brigade to ensure we better reflect the city we serve. Modern firefighting is much more than just putting out fires, blue lights and sirens.

I really want all members of London’s varied communities to seriously consider firefighting as a career option.

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