Should Fireman Sam be Firefighter Sam? London fire chief gets hate mail for saying so

Dany Cotton, the first female commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said at a recent event that she felt isolated by the backlash she got over her campaign to rename the popular children's TV show


Here at MFM HQ, we must admit we missed the to-do that happened in October, when female London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton called on the TV powers that be to rename the oh-so popular children’s character Fireman Sam, to Firefighter Sam, in the interests of inclusivity.


Commissioner Cotton wrote to the makers of the show in the run-up to Sam’s 30th birthday.

“I like the concept,” she said. “I like the fact it’s a cartoon that educates people and helps children learn about the dangers of fire.

“But I really would like him to come on board and be called ‘Firefighter Sam’.”

Now, 4 months on, speaking at a gender-equality event, she told her listeners: “The backlash I’ve had – the vitriol, the spite, the unpleasantness – truly horrified and shocked me. And it showed me we’ve got a long way to go.

“For a little while it made me want to back off and hide in a cave because it was shocking. I had letters of hate written to me at work.”


The programme makers haven’t so far renamed the popular firefighter (as you’d know if you watch it – which we’re sure lots of you do ?).

And while there will of course be the ‘PC gone mad’ rants, we have to say the team here definitely agree that when their little ones get visits from fire-brigade members in school or nursery, they do recall that both the male and female ones describe themselves as firefighters. So maybe Fireman Sam should get with the programme?

Might make that theme tune a bit tricky to sing, though…

What do you think?

Should Fireman Sam be renamed Firefighter Sam? Tell us what you think in the comments below or over on Facebook

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