DANIELLE Whitham is among females throughout the country proving their professions aren’t just ‘jobs for the boys.’

The 24-year-old from Silsden followed in her father, Paul’s footsteps, when she became a firefighter with West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service last year.

“My Dad was in the Fire Service so I always wanted to join,” says Danielle.

“I remember him talking about it and I wanted to do it.”

Although Paul has since changed professions and now works as a joiner, he inspired Danielle to join the Fire Service when the application process opened as part of last year’s major recruitment campaign - now she is literally living the dream.

Working in a predominantly male environment doesn’t bother Danielle either.

“I think I am quite similar to the lads on my shift - you have to be passionate about your job,” says Danielle.

She says it doesn’t matter whether you are male or female, it’s whether you can do the job. “They don’t care if you are male or female it’s if you are a good firefighter,” she adds.

Now she hopes to encourage more women to join what was previously perceived to be a predominantly male-dominated role.

Interestingly, female firefighters from across the country - and the globe - were profiled recently when they tweeted videos and pictures on Twitter of them to prove women could be firefighters following a mother’s tweet saying her daughter wished she was a boy so she could be a firefighter as she only saw firemen in the books she read.

Being part of a team appealed to Danielle when she decided to switch roles from her previous profession - teaching sports at a primary school to become a firefighter.

Working as an on-call firefighter at Silsden station where, incidentally her father was stationed while in the service, Danielle also works as a full-time firefighter with Fairweather Green, Bradford. Within whole-time and retained firefighters, 5.6 per cent are women.

After making it through the application process, Danielle began training at Brigade headquarters in Birkenshaw.

“It was amazing. The different things you learn you don’t think you can retain all the information but you can because they make it so interesting,” says Danielle.

“It’s very intense but it’s good fun. The training is the best part of the job because you get to do it every day,” she adds, referring to the training and drills they practice in the station ready for when they are called into action.

Among the jobs Danielle and her team have been called out to so far include helping to tackle a blaze at an empty property and helping to rescue a man from a cherry picker.

When Danielle and her team aren’t fighting fires they get involved in community work such as house safety checks, giving advice and installing smoke alarms.

“It makes you so proud. It is a sense of achievement,” says Danielle.

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service are currently recruiting on-call firefighters due to low numbers of on-call staff.

“The key benefits are that you can fit it around other commitments you may have, you are doing a great job to support your local community, it’s a great way to meet new people and try something completely different,” says a spokesman for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

On-call firefighters are skilled people from all walks of life who provide cover at on-call fire stations. There are 10 on-call fire stations - all of which are recruiting.

In particular they are keen to recruit male or female on-call firefighters in Silsden and Ilkley.

Staff must live and/or work within five minutes of the station. They submit the hours they are available each week and respond to emergency calls as part of a highly motivated team, working on the front line protecting their communities.

On-call firefighters can fit the role around their primary commitments such as other jobs or home life. They must be 18 or over when they start the job and have higher than average levels of strength, endurance and aerobic fitness.

Determination and self-motivation are among the role’s requirements as well as a desire to serve the community in which the firefighters live and work.

For more information about becoming an on call firefighter visit joinWYfirefighters.com; call 01274 473794 or email: on-callrecruitment@westyorkshirefire.gov.uk.