Men and women must meet the same entrance standards to be appointed to the service, which includes passing a bleep test, showing they are not claustrophobic and proving they can drag a casualty weighing 8.6 stone (55kg).
But the fire service says it is looking for compassion as much as courage and strength of character alongside physical strength. Since 2009 the number of firefighters has decreased by 23 per cent but the number of women is gradually rising and now stands at 1,980 across England.
Mother Elizabeth Cookson, 39, a former account manager has been an on-call firefighter for three-and-half-years, at Lancaster, after discovering she could fit the job around her children.
“I thought you’d have to be super fit and maybe I thought I was a bit older than the people they were looking for, and I guess from the outside thought ‘wow, that must be really hard and never get in’
“But actually my strength was fine getting in, and because when you’ve got toddlers you’re lifting the, on to play stuff, and pushing them up hills and getting them in and out of the buggies.
“I worked in quite a male dominated environment before, a lot of workplaces are like that, I didn’t notice anything different there is a lot of banter but if I worked anywhere else I would want there to be a lot of banter.”
To find out more about joining, visit Lancashire’s website