"There is a serious danger that fire policy will be developed on the basis of work carried out in the context of the market place rather than being underpinned by research which has been subjected to full process of academic rigour and peer review" Professor D Drysdale (European Vice-Chair, International Association of Fire Safety Sciences) and D T Davis (Chair of the Executive Committee, Institution of Fire Engineers). Fire Engineers Journal 61, 10, 6-7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Anthony Wigglesworth. BSc, MBA, GIFireE.

 

Wigglesworth, A (2001) The fire-fighter gender issue as seen on TV: How likely is it that the televised fire fighter will influence viewers to conclude that firefighting is a male occupation? Fitting-in (online).

 

Abstract

 

The research reported is concerned with the balance and popular perceptions of gender in the Fire service. The core issue and prime objective behind the research rested with establishing or dismissing the notion that there might be a linkage between the televised image and gender profile of firefighters. The key question on this was concerned with elaborating the likely response of viewers to televised firefighting. In essence, the research was designed to ask whether television viewers are likely to think firefighting is a male occupation. During the research process data was obtained, evaluated, and presented from both secondary and primary sources. Primary data was obtained from a 2-month survey of 70 televised firefighting events that were screened in the Anglia region. Full documented records of this content analysis are presented within the body of the research paper. Underpinning knowledge to the issues deemed central and contemporary to this paper were obtained from secondary sources. To this ends an extensive search of documents and publications was carried out. In conclusion, the author of the paper reasoned that viewers of televised firefighting are unlikely to conclude that firefighting is a male occupation.   

Contact us

Homepage

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Contributors

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The fire-fighter gender issue as seen on TV: How likely is it that the televised fire fighter will influence viewers to conclude that firefighting is a male occupation?

 

Anthony Wigglesworth. BSc, MBA, G.I.Fire.E.

 

 

Contents

 

Abstract

 

1.                  Introduction.

 

2.                  Evaluation of Knowledge.

2.1.           Female Firefighters and the United Kingdom Fire Service.

2.2.           Television Theory and Gender.

 

 

3.   The Research.

3.1.           The Issue Explored.

3.2.           Research Approach.

3.3.           Results.

 

4.                  Discussion.

 

5.                  Conclusion.

 

6.                  References.

 

Appendix 1

 

 

 

1.Introduction.

 

The Fire Service’s of the United Kingdom (UK) are by tradition characterised as an organisation that consists of an uniformed workforce that is white and male dominated. As we enter the 21st century, this tradition is still preserved. This is despite efforts that have made over the last two decades to recruit wider diversity, in both gender and racial terms, into Brigade establishments. In Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector for Fire Services report 1998/99 the number of uniformed officers from black and ethnic minorities stood at 577, for women the figure was 502. At the same time the national Fire Service establishment stood at 48, 321. These figures exclude control room personnel.

 

In September 1999, the enduring problem of under representation of certain groups was brought to the fore by the publication of Equality and Fairness in the Fire Service : A Thematic Review by Her Majesty’s Fire Service Inspectorate (HMFSI). This contained many criticisms that centre directly on the Fire Brigades consistently poor record in the recruitment of women and other minority groups. The tone of the document placed the blame in this quarter squarely on the internal organisational workings of the Fire Brigades themselves. In the reviews conclusion Fire Brigades were effectively put on notice that their records on the recruitment minority groups, women included must improve. Indeed the final quote of the review, ‘failure is not an option’ (p 82), appears to resound with an element of threatening intent.

 

Within the service itself the review, or at least its objective intent of fairness and equality, has been well received. However, at the same time it has also given rise to a certain amount of confusion as to the real issues preventing minority groups from joining the Fire Service. In particular, the review seems to omit any consideration to the effect of societal influences that might deter certain groups from becoming firefighters. Most notably, the review seems to have very little to say about the widely assumed and unrecorded fact that very few applications are received minority groups. This is apart from suggesting that Brigades have failed to market the firefighter job across the community.  

 

Clearly, the internalised bias of blame within the review leaves many questions unanswered. This being the case it provides a variety of research opportunities that might be linked to societal influences. Having regard to these unanswered questions the author of this paper has chosen to investigate if the Fire Service’s televised gender profile. Specifically the research reported in this paper seeks to establish if televised firefighters are likely to influence viewers and potential firefighter recruits that, the occupation is solely for males. The significance of this would be to establish the presence of a societal influence as a contributory cause to the current low numbers of female firefighters.

 

Turning to the more practical arrangements the paper begins by evaluating the current state and understanding of knowledge relevant to issues that the author has deemed essential to this study. The focal issues relate to the historical and present circumstances that confront female firefighters in the UK Fire Service. The treatment of gender and the underlying theories on television are also evaluated. Moving on to section 3 the paper explains the approach and research preferences that were selected during the study. In terms of importance, this section and the instructions laying out the research approach are considered to be of high value and equal to the subsequent discussion. Section 3 will also provide outline the main statistical results produced by the research. Penultimate to the conclusion the discussion centres on establishing the qualitative and wider significance of the results. The discussion within this section is highly instrumental to the final firm conclusions which that are contained in section 5.   

 

2. Evaluation of Knowledge.

 

This research is supported by a general evaluation of the following subjects,

 

·        Female Firefighters and the UK Fire Service.

·        Gender and Television.

 

2.1.           Female firefighters and the U K Fire Service.

This section focuses on the developments that have resulted in the virtual exclusion of women Firefighters in the U K Fire Service. The documents, articles and information that were considered during this phase of study show the organisation blatantly patriarchal and unwelcoming to women.  

 

In 1957 with the acknowledged help of his colleagues, the Hertfordshire Chief Fire Officer Geoffrey Blackstone wrote his book, A History of the British Fire Service. Despite a compendious original edition of over 450 pages, there are no references to women firefighters.

 

To mark the Fire Protection Association Golden Jubilee the book was reprinted as a special edition in 1996. In that edition there is a supplementary chapter by R.C. Bentley entitled, Events since 1957. Within it, there is a mention for women firefighters, they are privileged with 27 lines of text. Readers are told that, before the Sex Discrimination Act (1976) organised firefighting by women was largely restricted to events during the second world war.  Significantly, we are reminded that prior to the 1976 Act Brigades had operated a male gender selection policy for firefighters. Bentley informs readers that East Sussex Fire Brigade recruited the first peacetime women as a retained firefighter in 1976.

 

In the Fire Brigades Union’s Forged in Fire (1992), women’s involvement in firefighting is given a much wider coverage in comparison to Blackstone’s earlier omission. A full chapter by Terry Segars is devoted solely to women firefighters and the key developments up to 1990.

 

Full recognition is given to the many thousand’s of women who were recruited into the National Fire Service during the second world war. Segars also informs his readers of numerous instances where women were employed in firefighting duties during the conflict.

 

Looking to more modern times and the emergence of women firefighters in the 1980’s Segars finds, that there was, at this time open resentment across the ranks to the recruitment of females. With reference to the London Fire Brigade, he notes that this initial hostility had restricted the number of women firefighters to 34 by 1990. However, beyond the capital some Brigades had still to recruit their first women firefighter by 1990.  

 

By 1993 when Marie Levine wrote her dissertation Out of the Frying Pan, the number of women firefighters in London had risen to 57, while the national figure stood at 87. The objective behind her research was to establish why the numbers of women firefighters had remained low despite the passage of 18 years since the Sex Discrimination Act. The importance of her study is that it unearths qualitative primary data about UK women firefighters, in this it is a first. The information and understanding she brings forward was from interviews with 7 full time women firefighters. At the time, this represented 8.04 % of the UK’s full time women firefighters.

 

Devines concludes that there are several reasons why women have been reluctant to take up firefighting as an occupation. However, she believes the main reason rests with organisational sexism, as she was told by a senior officer, ‘the Fire Service is a boys club’ (p2). When the compelling evidence from her research is considered there are few that would disagree, it makes harrowing reading. Notwithstanding, the same finding can be arrived at from the fact that there were 87 full time firefighters in an UK establishment that was in excess of 40,000. In explaining the reasoning behind this patriarchal culture, Devine finds an observation by Homer (1992) useful,

 

The British Fire Service has been male dominated since its inception. It would be surprising therefore that it did not develop a culture based on male attitudes and the male            methods of working  ……without balances of the opposite            viewpoint these practices may  become extreme…. (p8).

 

Whilst subordinate to her main finding Devine also emphasises that the organisations media image has done little to portray firefighting as an occupation for women. During her research she found that only 1 of the women interviewed had a long-standing desire to become a firefighter. The rest had been prompted to join the service by chance. They were unaware that the world of firefighting was accessible to women. With the benefit of hindsight and later research, Devines conclusion has proved to be spot on. Unfortunately, nobody or at least nobody with influence seems to have been listening. Of course, this research was conducted in 1993 and as Pillinger (1992) infers this was an era of European political ambivalence in respect of gender issues.

 

The Service’s, ‘boys club image’ is revalidated by Baigent (1996) in, ‘Who Rings the Bell’. His research compliments and asserts the same general conclusion advanced by Devine. In essence, the Fire Service is gripped by a patriarchal culture that denies women equality. Baigent describes the character of this culture as a politicised male hegemonic discourse. Introducing wider generality Baigent finds Cockburns (1991) patriarchal concept of ‘Homosociality’ highly compatible to the male dominated UK Fire Service.

 

He also makes the case for the existence of Homosociality on the basis of the latest statistical evidence. At the time, Baigent wrote his findings there were 133 full time firefighters employed in 33 of the UK’s 64 fire Brigades. This compares with an equivalent male workforce of over 39,000. In suggesting that this may indicate discrimination against women, he enlists comparable statistical definitions from Skellington (1992), Palmer (1992) and Morris and Knott (1991).  

 

As to how this Homosociality can be broken down Baigent considers political will is important and observes that,

 

The shade of political control at local authority level has  considerable impact on how Brigades approach equality  issues and is especially important for relations with the  trade union’. (p1).

 

Quite clearly, this implies that the elected local authority must show leadership and commitment to gender equality by enforcement policies. In showing there is a genuine need for enforcement, Baigent criticises the weakness of the Sex Discrimination Act through Snell, who considers,

 

….‘it does not place an obligation on employers, unions or relevant government and other institutions to take positive steps to break down segregation in jobs and to create genuine opportunities in employment. (Snell, M. 1986 p 26)   

 

The Home Office’s document entitled Equality and Fairness in the Fire Service : A Thematic Review by HMFSI seeks to tackle these issues. In many respects the tone and generality of this review echoes, to the point of plagiarism the earlier studies by Devine ibid and Baigent ibid. The main difference here is that this evaluation has the political sponsorship that Snell bid views as vital to progress meaningful equality. Indeed, on this point we might speculate that there has been a political sea change on workplace gender equality. This has followed the1997 general election result that installed a Labour government which, had within its ranks 101 women members of parliament.  

 

Overall, the review has with statistical and qualitative evidence restated that the causality in the lack of women firefighters rests largely with the organisations outmoded cultural attitudes. During the period that the review was being assembled the UK Fire Service strength consisted of 48,080 firefighters, from that figure, 436 were women. To be blunt the review has officially labeled the service as both racist and sexiest.  In essence, this merely confirms what the less influential and silent majority in the service already knew. Therefore, the objective of the review, founded on the ideals of fairness and equality, was initially well received.   

 

However, with hindsight the reviews bias and sole reliance on internalised subjective conclusions, appear open to challenge. The main criticisms that are emerging suggest that the review has neglected to consider persuasive external influences that inhibit women from becoming firefighters. For instance, there is no consideration to the masculine social construction of a firefighter. It might be prudent to suggest that while a cultural makeover is long overdue such change cannot by itself ensure a rapid re adjustment of services gender profile. Whilst data is not available, and the review apportioned criticism on this point, it appears that applications from females, remain consistently low. Quite simply, women are not coming forward in large numbers to join the Fire Service, this is without awareness and experience of the organisations culture. All this suggests that it is plausible that the overwhelming majority of men and women are, and continue to be, influenced by societal factors and view firefighting as a male occupation. This does perhaps lead to an old adage time that asks, ‘has the cart been put before the horse’.

 

In response to the review, the Home Secretary Jack Straw has set all UK Brigades a target for the recruitment of female and ethnic minorities. With regard to women, brigades are expected to provide a firefighting workforce that is 15 % female by 2009. This is a significant challenge when the 1998/99 annual report of her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire Services for England and Wales is consulted. The figures considered relevant to such a consultation are set out in the introduction to this paper. The number of women in this figure was 502 , this equates to 1.03 % of the establishment. Bearing in mind it is 23 years since the first women was recruited into the Fire Service the 15 % target is indeed a stern challenge. If we follow a similar reasoning to Ducci’s 199 prediction of gender parity for senior management positions, at the present rate of progress the target will be reached in 334 years.

 

2.2.           Television theory and Gender.

Serious research into the portrayal of gender on television is rooted in the late 1960’s. As such the assembled knowledge is relatively recent and remains open for further extensive development.

 

It is particularly noticeable and perhaps indicative of the modernity of television that all, or so it seems, texts contain sections devoted to the gender and feminist discourse.

The Television Studies Book (1998), edited by Christine Geraghty and David Lusted is no exception to this rule.

 

Geraghty and Lusted assert that the historical body of knowledge underpinning television theory is Anglocentric and derived from studies of UK and American productions. More recently, they note the increasing global dominance of American television productions. This is they tell us, the reality of the cultural imperialism thesis presented by Thompson (1991). The result is that American television has to a certain extent established its cultural values as the dominant global culture. In opposition to this hegemony, there are the countervailing forces of the European and other similar public sector broadcasters. In consequence, the dominance of American television has been restrained to the extent that the European and American broadcasting models are distinguished and recognised by television theorists.

 

In the same book, Jostein Gripsrud attends to the metaphorical and sometimes paradoxical, vocabulary that has grown up with television study. For him there are 3 central metaphors in television at which the medium can be theorised.

 

 

 

·        Television.

The technical aspects of the medium.

·        Broadcasting

The social shaping of the technology.

·        Flow

Programming and the content.

 

In illuminating the paradox of television, Gripsrud critiques the validity of its literal definition, ‘distant sight’. For him, whilst this is technically true, it is not reality, in his words,

‘The medium only lets us see things happening far away via a huge, complex combination of people and technology in a broadcasting institution of some sort’. (p17).

 

Quite clearly, this demonstrates that the central metaphors are part of a systemic relationship that is itself conditioned by external influence.

 

Extending his paradoxical viewpoint further he outlines that the mindset and competitive edge of television is built on projecting images that represent immediacy, simultaneity, ‘liveness’, in essence an illusion of reality. Far from seeing at a distance, the viewer is enticed into the very existence and belief that the events unfolding on their screens are real. Of course as Gripsrud acknowledges most programmes are now pre- recorded. Despite this, producers retain an affinity to liveness in their shows to the extent that we are often reminded that the debate, interview or sit-com was recorded in front of a live audience. At the same time the live audience are themselves often physically drawn into the show.  

 

From this, we can reason that the images depicted on our screens are the version of reality envisioned by the television fraternity. More cynically, they are images that will be accepted as reality by the television audience and at the same time boost audience figures. So, reality for societal belief and commercial aspirations does not necessarily equate to the truth or the whole truth being contained in the television image.

 

In dealing with the narrative of television Gripsrud introduces Williams (1975) notion of, ‘flow’, as representation of the cultural text.  According to Gripsrud the recognition and elaboration of flow is where modern critical television theory began. In essence, it is media metaphor for content which, serves as the basis for simple content analysis and the modeling of comparisons between individual channels or national broadcasting systems.

 

The main contributor in respect of gender in this book is Laura Stempel Mumford. In her view, feminist gender theories, that had proved difficult to highlight and raise awareness to, found a natural partner and analytical base in television studies. For her there is a great deal of empathy shared between each discipline. In agreement with Allen (1985) she puts this down to both spheres being held in distain, for a long time, by the dominant intellectual groups in society. In the early years of television, those with influence in societies learned institutions considered the television text in soaps and other popular programmes to be trivial and unworthy of research. In contrast, this situation has provided the feminist movement an opportunity to make the gendered images in popular television texts a clarion call for the demonstration of women’s oppression. The result is that, women’s studies and feminist theory is highly attracted to, and influential in, recent analyses of television.

 

For Mumford, and her feminist approach, the issue of gender is related to the cultural identity and position of men and women on television. This, she insists, should lead us to question what we are doing when watching television. This should also prompt inquiry into how television works to establish or promote specific gender identities and reinforce cultural relations generally. More fundamentally, she suggests that such issues require an understanding of what it means to live as a man or women and perhaps more crucially how do individuals learn this. These questions are in Mumfords opinion neatly inflected in the study of television.

 

Mumford is keen to point out that the feminist movement is by no means monolithic and consists of many subtle variants. Notwithstanding, she informs her readers that feminist critics and theorists are agreed that all media sustains and reinforces the power relations that maintain the societal genderised status quo. In expounding the societal relevance and study of television in all this Mumford considers the medium is much more than entertainment In her words,

 

……’when we watch, we are not simply being entertained in some neutral way; we are having a political and ideological experience as well, and both our viewing practices and our ways of making sense of what we watch are articulated within a particular political and social context’. (p118).

 

Such statements can be reconciled with the stance of the Frankfurt school of theorists Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer and  Herbert Marcuse. These Marxist intellectuals are acknowledged (Watson 1998, Jones and Jones 1999) as the early exponents of critical theory developed in the 1920’s. For them, the power of media and a defenceless public was judged evident by the successful brainwashing of the German people by the Nazi propaganda machine. However, the perfect fit of this generalisation to television is difficult to sustain in all circumstances, particularly where there is liberal regulation of the medium. At the same time, we must not forget that television is received in the domestic environment. But lets also not forget that a huge amount of money is spent on advertising products and services on commercial television. To this, we can add the pre election party political broadcasts. Surely if companies and political parties are prepared to invest large amounts of time, effort and money into television there must be an element of belief in the power of the television image. But then again only 1 political party wins and not all advertised goods are a raging success. Maybe it’s better to think of television in the realms of being a highly effective communication tool. And as we all know some people use tools better than others.    

 

Just how powerful all this implied form of indoctrination is, is according to Mumford highly contested. In her earlier writings, Mumford (1995), suggests that ideological programme content is stronger than the viewers resistance. Nevertheless, she acknowledges the position of Brown (1994) who puts emphasis on viewer resistance. For complete balance D’Acci’s (1994) version of a constant struggle with power shifting between the viewer and ideology is given consideration in Mumfords essay.

 

The debate over television power is itself now located in a modern day version of critical theory referred to as the ‘effects model’, which encompasses all media forms. James Watson ibid. gives the model and studies relevant to its television context in Media Communication. To illustrate the continuing widespread disagreement that surrounds the validity of the effects model Watson makes his main connections with the disparate research conclusions of Morley (1980), and Philo (1990).

 

Morleys extensive research reported in The ‘Nationwide’ Audience examined how viewers received, accepted, modified or rejected the BBC’s Nationwide evening news programme. From his findings, Morley concluded that the accepted wisdom of passive audiences should be rejected. In essence, the audience is held to make up their own mind and the ‘effects model’ is ungrounded. However, against this we have a completely contradictory view expressed by Philo in Seeing and Believing : The Influence of Television. His research was designed to elaborate the audience reaction to the news coverage of the1984-85 UK miners strike. Philo’s observations led him to conclude that the actual television images transmitted during the miners strike had prejudiced viewers to establish other patterns of association. In this particular case the association and perception that had been conditioned was concerned with picketing and violence. In Philo’s general sample, 98 % believed that most of the picketing they had previously seen on the news was violent, at the same time they also believed that the television portrayal of violent picketing was a normal condition. In pursuing the source for these beliefs, Philo found that the main responses were,

 

‘Overwhelmingly given as television and the press, with  emphasis on TV, because of its immediate and more  dramatic quality’ (quoted in Watson 1998 p193)

 

Quite clearly as far as Philo is concerned the ‘effects model’ is grounded and it possesses validity.

 

All this brings us back to the centrality of Mumfords ibid. feminist gender reinforcement inquiry. Doe’s television, reinforce the gender inequalities in society? More specifically for this study doe’s television project fire-fighting as a male occupation and instill that perception in the minds of its viewers? Quite clearly there are 2 separate, though associated, major questions in the last sentence. For this research, and on the basis of logic, the point of focus was the former question. Bearing in mind the existence of ‘effects model’ believers and non believers, the relevance and further development of the findings will amongst other things rest on ones support or non support for the ‘effects model’.    

 

3. The Research

 

3.1. The Issue Explored.

The main objective of the research reported in this paper and conveyed by the opening title was to,

 

Evaluate the gender balance in the Fire Service,

and assess to what extent the televised image of

firefighters influences viewers, that firefighting is

a male occupation.

 

It was recognised that the nature of this study would unearth a wide range of data that is both quantitative and qualitative. Indeed the entirety of this data was considered to be beyond the resources and limitations, imposed on 1 paper. For this reason this papers main concern is with quantifying fire-fighting’s gender image on television. 

 

3.2. Research Approach.

The findings reported in this paper were supported by 2 research methods,

 

3.1Critical evaluation of existing knowledge relevant to the research issue stated in section 3.1.

 

3. 2.Content analysis of television images.

 

The critical evaluation that was carried out was considered to be conventional, it was initiated well in advance of the primary data collection process. Its utility in developing this research was found to be identical to 3 of Bruce’s (1994  pp217-219) 6 listed ways that students view their literature reviews.

 

 

 

·        As vehicle for learning.

·        As a research facilitator.

·        As a report.

 

Hussey and Hussey (1997 : 109) argue that these elements are the 3 most important aspects that should be focused upon during a literature review or evaluation. Without doubt, the evaluation did provide the researcher with both a learning experience and the facilities to undertake informed research. More simplistically, the experience can be compared to a filtration process that ultimately produced coherence and clarification of the research issues. In consequence, the crucial and relevant issues that survived scrutiny were brought to the fore for the benefit of the researcher and the ever-evolving body of knowledge. As to the evaluation functioning as a report, the tangibility of this is brought together in section 2 of this paper.

 

The use of content analysis was influenced by the methods ability to formalise qualitative data. This is compatible with the view of Mostyn (1985) who sees it as a diagnostic tool for qualitative researchers who can use it to make sense of open-ended material. More importantly, this formalisation will provide a base line and allow later comparison or re-examination if the same approach and procedures are copied. As such this form of analysis was also considered useful for adding longevity to the research. These rationales are closely in keeping with Williams’s (1976) expressed purpose of content analysis. For Williams it was useful for,

 

·        Keeping in Touch with Important Changes (especially those not announced).

·        Making Historical Comparisons.

·        Detecting Trends.

 

Williams himself was a long-term exponent of content measurement in the mass media. His simple style and categorisation of content, as is shown in his book Communications (1976) was inspirational to the presentation of the research data in this paper. Following Williams’s categorical lead, it was decided to present and analyse the collected data in a tabulated spreadsheet format using Microsoft Excel. This modeling phase was carried out after the capture of the final piece of primary data.

 

Finally, and most importantly, we turn to the actual procedures giving rise to the recovery of the primary research data. The importance of this element of the paper cannot be emphasised too much, especially if future valid comparisons are to be made. For this reason, the research procedure is detailed precisely.

 

The period in which visual television content was collected extended across 2 calendar months, beginning on 21st March 2000 and closing on 21st May 2000 inclusive. During this, period fire-fighting events screened on prime time (1800-2230 hrs) television were recorded on videocassette for the purpose of later analysis. The source channels were, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) channels 1, 2, Independent Television channel 4 and Anglia region. In terms of audience figures, these channels are the Anglian regions main television broadcasters.

 

Throughout the research period, the regular weekday pattern of video recording captured the local BBC and Anglia news broadcasts between 1800 –1900 hrs. Local news transmissions were also recorded at weekends when they were broadcast between 1800 – 2230 hrs. Later national news transmissions were also accorded priority when they fell between the set hours of the study. The remainder of each evening’s television programmes was then selected for recording by reference to daily viewing schedules and pre-standing knowledge of programme content. For instance, it is well know that the BBC’s 999 regularly screens re-enactment’s of Fire Service Incidents. Pre programme trailers also influenced the recordings made. These alerted the researcher to storylines and features that would or, might include Fire Service related footage. Therefore on many occasions during the primary research phase a night’s video recording would fill a 180 minute videocassette with potential Fire Service footage. 

 

Other viewing preferences and commitments meant that many of the video recordings made were, at the time of the transmission, unseen by the researcher. Notwithstanding, each night’s recordings would be scanned at the earliest opportunity, normally and in most cases, this was the next day. Fire Service related footage that was identified during this process was then transferred sequentially by date on to cassettes used solely for the research project. When the primary data collection phase was closed on 21st May 2000, the recordings crucial to the study were contained on 3 x 180-minute videocassettes. The detailed analysis that has resulted in the presentation of the formalised tabulated data in appendix 1 was initiated once the final piece of primary data was collected. More detailed and defining information on the understandings conveyed by the categorisations used in appendix 1 is given in the attached notes. 

 

3.3Results.

The results that arose from the primary phase of this research project are listed in full detail in the tables 1-7 in appendix 1.

 

In the 2-month research period, 70 televised images of fire fighting were recorded from the transmissions of those broadcasters under scrutiny. It is believed that this figure represents a very high sample of the total number of images transmitted during that period. Only 4 other televised images related to fire fighting were known to have been transmitted during the research period. These are, along with the reason for omission, summarised as table 7. Accepting the sample availability may be 74 establishes a 94.5 % sample rate for the 70 recorded images listed in the results to this study. All of the 70 recordings captured were usable and they have all to varying degrees contributed to the overall research findings.

 

Many other useful insights of general significance have resulted from the aggregated analysis of the 70 recordings. In particular it is noted that almost 162 minutes of prime time television in the Anglian region was given over to fire-fighters being totally central to the filmed content transmitted during the research period. This figure neglects leading/closing commentary and fire related images absent of firefighters that were contained in some of the recordings. With these peripheral filmed elements added to the 162 minutes, the length of actual 70 recordings is ……..

 

In the same 70 recordings there were found to be 2155 individual scenes where firefighters were central to the picture being screened. In average terms this means that viewers are treated to a re-emphasis and a vivid pictorial reinforcement of a firefighter every 4.5 seconds when fire stories are screened. Having regard to the total number of individual sightings of firefighters the figure recorded stood at 4087. Once more in average terms, this equates to a new or a re-entry of a firefighter on to the television screen every 2.3 seconds during Fire Service footage. The apparent incompatibility of these average calculations can be reconciled by the wide variations of the images recorded. Overall very few of the scenes and individual sightings corresponded to the average figures quoted above. Closer inspection of the airplay and scenes figures attributed to each recording in table 3 will confirm variations above and below the stated averages.

 

The results mentioned so far are more concerned with the generalities and extent of the Fire Service and the firefighter profile on our television screens. The main point that emerges from the results of this area of the research is that the service and its firefighters receive substantial and regular coverage on television.

 

Of course, the principal interest of this research, as expressed at 3.1, was to assess if there is a gender bias. The data that are contained in tables 3 to 6 makes several connections with this issue. Overall, and with the benefit of ongoing hindsight the reality of the results in those tables is complexity. The reasoning behind this description is reserved for the following section. Notwithstanding, we can establish that several key results do in there own right stand out in tables 3 to 6.

 

Inspection of table 3 shows that positive identification of female firefighters was only possible in 3 of the 70-video recordings, this equates to 4.2 % of the sample. For male firefighters, the comparable figure is 56 and 80 %. A further result of great importance can also be gathered from table 3 by considering the sum totals of columns 3, 4 and 5. Combining the sum total of female and male firefighters positively identified yields a figure of 244. The sum total of estimated individual firefighters actually participating in the 70 recordings shows a figure of 569. From these data, we can establish that only 42.8 % of firefighters shown on the 70-video recordings were positively identified according to their gender.

 

The results shown in table 4 can be used to shed further light on the problem of identifying the gender of firefighters shown on television. Analysis of columns 5, 6

and 7 show great difficulty in ascertaining the gender identity of firefighters in news and weather footage. At worst, the content analysis of the singular weather report in table 4 shows it was not possible to identify the gender of any of the firefighters captured in the relevant recording. BBC news footage fared little better with only

5.4 % of the firefighters shown being identified by gender. From the other 3 news programmes listed in table 4, the highest positive gender identification rate was set by Look East. From this programmes footage it was possible to identify the gender to 22 of the estimated 82 firefighters screened. In percentage terms, this equates to a success rate of 26. 8 %. The programmes providing the clearest gender identification can also be obtained from the results in table 4. Overall, 6 programmes provided footage from which it was possible achieve a 100 % positive identification rate.    

 

Moving on to the collective programme type results contained in table 5 the weakness of news footage in establishing a firefighters gender is further confirmed. Out of an estimated 278 firefighters that were screened during 39 news events only 58, which is equivalent to 20. 8 % were positively identified according to gender. In contrast the other significant programme types, they are significant in the sense that several events were screened, yield much higher gender identification rates. In particular, it is notable that drama and series features type programmes provided television pictures from which it was possible to identify the gender to 78 and 64.4 %, respectively, of the estimated firefighters screened. Before we move away from the results shown in table 5 it important to note that the only female firefighters identified during this research were confined to drama programmes. If we back track to table 4, we can also find that these sightings were also confined to the programme London’s Burning.

Finally, we turn to the data compiled in table 6, therein 3 main points are noted. As before, the general difficulty in identifying the gender of firefighters is demonstrated across the main broadcasters who provided the research material. With close proximity, BBC 1 and Anglia television pictures allowed, in respective order, 39. 8 and 41. 3 % of the estimated firefighters screened to be identified by gender.

 

The second point noted is that the main broadcasters were clearly BBC 1 and Anglia. As can be seen in table 6 they provided almost all the recordings that have been analysed during this study. That is with the sole exception of 1 recorded event screened on BBC 2.

 

To close we turn to the last notable point that arises from the results set out in table 6. It is noted that the only female firefighters that were identified were restricted to Anglia broadcasts.

 

4. Discussion

 

In this section, it is intended to widen the debate over the results in the proceeding section 3.3. Their significance will be reasoned by assessing the extent of their validity, reliability and general worthiness.

 

I will begin by explaining the reference to complexity in relation to the results produced, this was mentioned in section 3.3. That statement was made in reflection and after full consideration of the results produced. The initial direction of the research that is conveyed by the title of this paper was also influential in bringing about the statement. The complexity itself is judged to arise from researcher interference to an extent that the product of the research is littered with a variety of bi-polar paradoxical situations. In consequence, the research has both strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, it can be considered valid and invalid. All this is of course compatible and sufficient to assign the underpinning philosophy of the research into the phenomenological camp. In particular, researcher involvement, therefore interference, is part of the Easterby-Smith et al (1991) construction of what constitutes phenomenological research.

 

I will now outline the basic strengths and weaknesses underpinning the research reported, emphasis on the positive aspects is discussed in the first instance. To this ends I will start by insisting that the research is valid, reliable and accurate. What was recorded and is documented in tables 1 – 7 in appendix 1 is exactly what happened in the eyes of the researcher. It is perhaps useful to define the executive context in which validity, reliability and accuracy are used above. Essentially, the warranty would hold if the same research methods and procedures reported in this paper were repeated. Therefore, the same results would, subject to the human perogative, be repeated. All in all, it can be said that the research is technically successful, after all results have been produced and the content analysis methodologies have worked very well. Most usefully and probably the greatest strength of the research is its repeatability. In effect a baseline now exists from which changes and trends could in the future be compared.        

 

However, if we re-contextualise the validity, reliability and accuracy mentioned above the research can be assessed in more negative tones. To make this point we might return to the title of this paper. Using this as a reference point we might ask if the research brought clarity and knowledge to the questions encased within the papers title.

 

In reply to this, I would say that the research is, objectively, able to provide some clarity as to the weight of influence exercised on viewers by the apparent gender of televised firefighters. Bearing in mind that this research has established that there is a fundamental problem in identifying the gender of a large number of televised firefighters, any link to a wider societal construct on this front seems extremely weak. As the overall results of this research show 67 % of firefighters screened could not be identified by gender. For news footage, the most regular medium for firefighter pictures, the problem was worse with 79 % of firefighters not identified by gender. 

 

The television identity problem is perpetual and perhaps somewhat unique to firefighting. This raises further concern as to the overall validity and use of the research. This stems from the fact that real life firefighting requires extensive personal protective clothing. To this, we should add that television film crews are excluded from the immediate scene of firefighting operations and lets not forget the footage may be recorded during the hours of darkness. Finally, the difficulty of identification is not helped by the fact that many television pictures merely show the backs of firefighters who are facing the fire or hazard to which they have been called. In this situation the viewer, if sufficiently interested makes his own assumption as to the gender of the firefighter. This will of course be based on his own values and prejudices that he has been conditioned with. 

 

There is also another issue of validity embedded in the research that was conducted that should be discussed. The researcher has subjected the visual television images to almost microscopic analysis as the recordings have been rolled back and forth at slow pace. The man or women in the front room do not watch television like that. Therefore, what the researcher has seen and has recorded is not equivalent to the viewer experience. Of course, phenomenology sees this situation as inevitable. The important thing is to acknowledge and explain its consequences. In this case, the effect is likely to be that the data in tables 1 – 7, that is the element concerning the positive identification of televised firefighters, would be diminished if television viewers had been the focal arbiters in this research.

 

This being the case the reinforcement of firefighting as a male occupation by televised firefighters seems, from what was revealed by this research, to have very little foundation. However even this statement is fraught with difficulties. In making it, we should recall that more males than female firefighters were identified during this research. Indeed this research shows that firefighter gender identification is a significantly easier task in certain types of programmes. To this, we can with surety say, courtesy of this research itself, that a more subjective selection of programmes yields far different results.

 

In particular, perhaps quite obviously, it was very noticeable that drama, series features and programmes where firefighters are central to the plot make gender identification much easier. More importantly the high profile inclusion of female firefighters in the cast of London’s Burning, which accounted for a huge slice of the source data, might convince viewers that firefighting is not an exclusive male preserve.

 

 

5. Conclusion

 

The researchers narrative, particularly in the discussion section, points towards confusion and validity flawed findings in the research overall. With such negative tones expressed, it might be reasoned that this study would be unable to provide useful conclusions. Most certainly that is not the case and further knowledge on the issues central to this research has been accrued. Ironic as it may be the many complexities in this research did ultimately work to positive effect and produce firm conclusions.

 

So, despite a variety of weaknesses being attributed to this research several very useful conclusions can be been drawn by a reasoned and knowledge based interpretation of the results produced. Even the negative aspects exposed by this research work have usefulness. In particular, this research will have practical usefulness for any future researcher who wishes to explore associations between television, gender and firefighting.

 

A particularly important conclusion of relevance both now and in the future is the very unreliable nature of general televised footage of firefighters at work. The process of firefighter gender identification through the medium of television can be extremely difficult. However, this is not the case across all programmes types. This leads us to further conclude that the most fruitful area of television programming for the issues central to this research are dramas and series features. In contrast, news footage was shown, with the support of this research, to be extremely unreliable for identifying the gender of firefighters. Notwithstanding, this research clearly demonstrates that female firefighters are absent from the overwhelming majority of televised firefighting. Of course, with female firefighters only constituting roughly 1 % of the Fire service establishment, this might be expected. Extending this research into the future, at the same time touting the further worth of this research we can reason a further conclusion. If the current drive to increase the numbers of female firefighters is successful, we should expect a repeat of this research to show a rise in their identification from televised firefighting.

As to whether these conclusions concerning gender identification have general significance across other occupations, this research is unable to confirm such validity. On this point, we can add that this research shows that firefighters have circumstances somewhat exclusive to the job, which create difficulty to televised identification.

 

Finally, we turn to consider what conclusion should be drawn from the big issue and main question at the core of this research project. The papers opening title and section 3.1 shows that the researcher set out assess the likelihood of television viewers being influenced into thinking that firefighting is a male occupation. On the basis of the evidence presented and, in no small way, the further discussion that has been conducted it is possible to reason a firm conclusion on this issue. The conclusion drawn is that televised firefighting is unlikely to influence viewers to the extent that they will conclude firefighting to be a male occupation. For the validity of this, we should look to the difficulty in establishing the gender of televised firefighters. Consequently, we may also reason that when identification is not possible the viewer makes his own judgement as to the gender of the firefighter. So, if television viewers do think firefighting is a male occupation other and more powerful underlying influences are more likely to be present. To this we can add that where firefighters are given high profile central televised coverage, as in London’s burning, female firefighters are readily identified. Committed long-term viewers of this programme, we can reason, are probably left with a lasting impression that firefighting is not an exclusive male occupation.

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6. References

 

Allen, R. 1985 : Speaking of Soap Operas. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina

Press.

Baigent, D. 1996 : Who Rings the Bell? A Gender Study Looking at the British Fire

Service, its Firefighters and Equal Opportunities. Unpublished Dissertation

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Bentley, R. 1996 : Events since 1957 in Blackstone, G. A History of the British

Fire Service. Borehamwood : Fire Protection Association.

Blackstone, G. 1957 : A History of the British Fire Service. London :

: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Brown, M. 1994 : Soap Operas and Womens Talk : The Pleasure of Resistance.

Thousand Oaks : Sage.

Bruce, C. 1994 : ‘Research Students’ Early Experiences of the Dissertation Literature

Review’, in Studies in Higher Education, 9 (2) pp.217-219.

Cockburn, C. 1991 : In the Way of Women. Basingstoke : Macmillan.

DiAcci, J. 1994 : Defining Women : Television and the Case of Cagney and Lacey.Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press.

Ducci, M. 1993 : Women in Authority : The Ideal and the Reality in The World of

Work No 2. Geneva : International Labour Organisation.

Easterby-Smith, M. Thorpe, R. Lowe, A. 1991 : Management Research : An

Introduction. London : Sage.

Fire Brigades Union. 1992 : Forged in Fire. London : Lawrence and Wishart.

Geraghty, C. Lusted, D. 1998 : Editorial Introduction in The Television Studies Book.

London : Arnold.

Gripsrud, J. 1998 : Television, Broadcasting, Flow : Key Metaphors in TV Theory in

The Television Studies Book. London : Arnold.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector for Fire Services. 1999 : Annual Report 1998/99. London : Home Office.

Her Majesty’s Fire Service Inspectorate. 1999 : Equality and Fairness in the Fire Service. London : Home Office.

Homer, M. 1992 : The Effect of Organisational culture and Procedures on the

Implementation of Effective Equal Opportunities Policy with regard to

Women. Unpublished Report Brigade Command Course : Fire Service

College Moreton in Marsh.

Hussey, J. Hussey, R. 1997 : Business Research. Basingstoke : Macmillan.

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Levine, M. 1993 : Out of the Frying Pan. Unpublished Dissertation Labour Studies

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Morley, D. 1980 : The ‘Nationwide’ Audience. London : British Film Institute.

Morris, A. Knott, S. 1991 : Working women and the Law. London : Routledge.

Mostyn, B. 1985 : ‘The Content analysis of Qualitative Research Data : A Dynamic  Approach’ in Brenner, M. Brown, J. Canter, D. The Research Interview, Uses and Approaches, London : Academic Press.

Palmer, C. 1992 : Discrimination at Work. London : Legal Action Group.

Pillinger, J. 1992 : Feminising the Market. Basingstoke : Macmillan.

Philo, G. 1990 : Seeing and Believing : The Influence of Television. London : : Routledge

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London : Lawrence and Wishart.

Skellington, R. 1992 : Race in Britain Today. London : Sage

Snell, M. 1986 : Waged work a Reader in Feminist Review 1986. London : Virago

Mumford, L. 1995 : Love and Ideology in the Afternoon : Soap Opera, Women, and Television Genre. Bloomington : Indiana University Press.

Mumford, L. 1998 : Feminist Theory and Television Studies in The

Television Studies Book. London : Arnold.

Thompson, J. 1991: Cultural Imperialism. London : Pinter.

Watson, J. 1998 : Media Communication : An Introduction to Theory and Process. Basingstoke : Macmillan.

Williams, R. 1975 : Television : Technology and Cultural Form. New York :

: Schocken.

Williams, R. 1976 : Communications. 3rd ed. Harmondsworth : Penguin.

 

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Appendix 1.

 

Table 1. Records of televised recorded images 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

Table 2. Records of televised recorded images 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

Table 3. Records of televised recorded images 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

Table 4. Gender Identification by programmes 21/03/2000–21/05/2000 inclusive.

Table 5. Gender Identification by programme type 21/03/2000–21/05/2000 inclusive.

Table 6. Gender Identification by broadcasters 21/03/2000–21/05/2000 inclusive.

Table 7. Televised firefighting that is known to be omitted 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

 


Table 1. Records of televised recorded images 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

Record

 

 

 

 

Number

Date

Day of week

Programme

Broadcaster

1

21st March

Tuesday

Emmerdale

Anglia

2

22nd March

Wednesday

Emmerdale

Anglia

3

23rd March

Thursday

Animal Hospital

BBC 1

4

24th March

Friday

Coronation Street 1

Anglia

5

27th March

Monday

Anglia News

Anglia

6

27th March

Monday

Pass it On

BBC 2

7

28th March

Tuesday

Anglia News

Anglia

8

29th March

Wednesday

Anglia News

Anglia

9

29th March

Wednesday

Look East

BBC 1

10

29th March

Wednesday

Look East

BBC 1

11

30th March

Thursday

Anglia News

Anglia

12

31st March

Friday

Anglia News

Anglia

13

31st March

Friday

Anglia News

Anglia

14

31st March

Friday

Look East

BBC 1

15

3rd April

Monday

Anglia News

Anglia

16

3rd April

Monday

Look East

BBC 1

17

4th April

Tuesday

Anglia News

Anglia

18

4th April

Tuesday

ITN News

Anglia

19

5th April

Wednesday

Anglia News

Anglia

20

5th April

Wednesday

Tomorrows World

Anglia

21

5th April

Wednesday

999

BBC 1

22

5th April

Wednesday

999

BBC 1

23

6th April

Thursday

Look East

BBC 1

24

6th April

Thursday

Always & Everyone

Anglia

25

7th April

Friday

Anglia News

Anglia

26

7th April

Friday

Look East

BBC 1

27

7th April

Friday

Look East

BBC 1

28

10th April

Monday

Look East

BBC 1

29

14th April

Friday

Anglia News

Anglia

30

14th April

Friday

Anglia News

Anglia

31

14th April

Friday

Anglia News

Anglia

32

15th April

Saturday

Look East

BBC 1

33

15th April

Saturday

Look East

BBC 1

34

16th April

Sunday

Look East

BBC 1

 

Table 1. Record of televised recorded images 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

Record

 

 

 

 

Number

Date

Day of week

Programme

Broadcaster

35

18th April

Tuesday

BBC Evening News

BBC 1

36

18th April

Tuesday

Silent Witness

BBC 1

37

19th April

Wednesday

Tomorrows World

BBC 1

38

20th April

Thursday

Anglia News

Anglia

39

20th April

Thursday

Always & Everyone

Anglia

40

22nd April

Saturday

ITN News

Anglia

41

25th April

Tuesday

DIY SOS

BBC 1

42

27th April

Thursday

Animal Hospital

BBC 1

43

29th April

Saturday

Whatever you want

BBC 1

44

30th April

Sunday

Harbour Lights

BBC 1

45

30th April

Sunday

Londons Burning

Anglia

46

3rd May

Wednesday

999

BBC 1

47

3rd May

Wednesday

999

BBC 1

48

3rd May

Wednesday

999

BBC 1

49

3rd May

Wednesday

999

BBC 1

50

6th May

Saturday

City Central

BBC 1

51

7th May

Sunday

Londons Burning

Anglia

52

9th May

Tuesday

Good Driver

BBC 1

53

9th May

Tuesday

999

BBC 1

54

9th May

Tuesday

999

BBC 1

55

10th May

Wednesday

BBC Evening News

BBC 1

56

12th May

Friday

BBC Evening News

BBC 1

57

14th May

Sunday

BBC Evening News

BBC 1

58

15th May

Monday

ITN News

Anglia

59

15th May

Monday

Look East

BBC 1

60

16th May

Tuesday

Anglia News

Anglia

61

16th May

Tuesday

Look East

BBC 1

62

16th May

Tuesday

BBC Evening News

BBC 1

63

16th May

Tuesday

BBC Evening News

BBC 1

64

17th May

Wednesday

Tomorrows World

BBC 1

65

21st May

Sunday

Anglia Weather Week

Anglia

66

21st May

Sunday

ITN News

Anglia

67

21st May

Sunday

ITN News

Anglia

68

21st May

Sunday

BBC Evening News

BBC 1

Table 1. Record of televised recorded images 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

Record

 

 

 

 

Number

Date

Day of week

Programme

Broadcaster

69

21st May

Sunday

Harbour Lights

BBC 1

70

21st May

Sunday

Londons Burning

Anglia

 

Notes.

1.

The Fire-fighting image attributed to Coronation Street is in fact a commercial produced by the programmes sponsor Cadburys PLC. Courtesy of such sponsorship Cadburys screens advertisements linked to the Coronation Street brand at the beginning, end and between breaks during each episode. The firefighting commercial has been screened extensively during the period of this research and many more times than the singular recording at record 4 in table 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2. Records of televised recorded images 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

Record

 

 

 

 

 

Number

Programme

Type

Situation

Airplay 1

Scenes 2

1

Emmerdale

Drama Soap

RTA 3

3m 40s

10

2

Emmerdale

Drama Soap

RTA

3m 22s

12

3

Animal Hospital

Series Feature

Rescue

1m 29s

8

4

Coronation Street

Commercial

Image 4

6s

1

5

Anglia News

News

Fire

18s

5

6

Pass it On

Series Feature

Cooking

4m 28s

29

7

Anglia News

News

RTA

7s

2

8

Anglia News

News

Fire

2m 23s

15

9

Look East

News

Fire

1m 45s

4

10

Look East

News

Image

57s

11

11

Anglia News

News

Fire

1m 57s

5

12

Anglia News

News

Fire

10s

2

13

Anglia News

News

Image

20s

4

14

Look East

News

Image

38s

7

15

Anglia News

News

Fire

8s

2

16

Look East

News

IR 5

2s

1

17

Anglia News

News

IR

1m 3s

7

18

ITN News

News

Collapse

1m 41s

2

19

Anglia News

News

Fire

3s

1

20

Tomorrows World

Series Feature

Demo 6

3m 36s

28

21

999

Series Feature

Rescue

24s

8

22

999

Series Feature

Rescue

16s

3

23

Look East

News

RTA

24s

8

24

Always & Everyone

Drama Soap

Chemical

27s

2

25

Anglia News

News

Fire

21s

3

26

Look East

News

Fire

7s

2

27

Look East

News

Aircrash

8s

2

28

Look East

News

Fire

13s

4

29

Anglia News

News

Fire

17s

2

30

Anglia News

News

Demo

25s

4

31

Anglia News

News

Image

29s

3

32

Look East

News

Fire

47s

7

33

Look East

News

Demo

43s

6

34

Look East

News

Fire

7s

3

Table 2. Record of televised recorded images 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

Record

 

 

 

 

 

Number

Programme

Type

Situation

Airplay

Scenes

35

BBC Evening News

News

Fire

5s

1

36

Silent Witness

Drama Crime

Fire

2m 3s

11

37

Tomorrows World

Series Feature

Demo

2m 56s

16

38

Anglia News

News

Accident

5s

1

39

Always & Everyone

Drama Soap

Character

1m 46s

20

40

ITN News

News

Fire

4s

1

41

DIY SOS

Series Feature

Interest Group

2m 19s

28

42

Animal Hospital

Series Feature

Rescue

11s

3

43

Whatever you want

Game Show

Show Prize

4m 40s

78

44

Harbour Lights

Drama Crime

Fire

30s

2

45

Londons Burning

Drama Crime

Service Life

19m 30s

399

46

999

Series Feature

Rescue

2m 3s

22

47

999

Series Feature

Rescue

1m 39s

41

48

999

Series Feature

Demo

1m 46s

28

49

999

Series Feature

Training

1m 4s

15

50

City Central

Drama Soap

Fire

14s

7

51

Londons Burning

Drama Soap

Service Life

35m 11s

378

52

Good Driver

Series Feature

Demo

1m 2s

17

53

999

Series Feature

Rescue

1m 41s

21

54

999

Series Feature

Rescue

14s

6

55

BBC Evening News

News

Fire

3s

1

56

BBC Evening News

News

Fire

18s

4

57

BBC Evening News

News

Fire

40s

6

58

ITN News

News

Fire

27s

8

59

Look East

News

Flood

6s

2

60

Anglia News

News

Flood

2s

1

61

Look East

News

Flood

2s

1

62

Airport

Series Feature

Training

6m 59s

74

63

BBC Evening News

News

Fire

6s

1

64

Tomorrows World

Series Feature

Fire

2m 26s

31

65

Anglia Weather Week

Weather

Storms

7s

2

66

ITN News

News

Rescue

2s

1

67

ITN News

News

Rescue

3s

1

68

BBC Evening News

News

Rescue

7s

2

Record

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number

Programme

Type

Situation

Airplay

Scenes

 

69

Harbour Lights

Drama Crime

Flood

47s

8

 

70

Londons Burning

Drama Soap

Service Life

37m 15s

704

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

161m 54s

2155

 

 

Notes.

1.      Airplay.

The amount of time that fire-fighters were actually in the television picture and central to the filmed content. In the case of Londons Burning airplay was registered only when the characters were portraying actual Fire Service activities. Incidents and situations centred on each characters domestic circumstances were not marked down as airplay.

2.      Scenes.

The number of editings, and breaks between characters that provides continual

re-emphasis to the filmed content.

3.      RTA.

Road Traffic Accident.

4.      Image.

Images related to Fire Service activities.

5.      IR.

Industrial Relations.

6.      Demo.

Demonstrations related to Fire Service activities.

 

Table 3. Records of televised recorded images 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

Record

 

Est 1

ID 2

ID 3

Individ 4

Number

Programme

Ff's

Male

Fem

Sightings

1

Emmerdale

6

6

0

66

2

Emmerdale

10

10

0

77

3

Animal Hospital

4

4

0

22

4

Coronation Street

1

1

0

1

5

Anglia News

20

2

0

20

6

Pass it On

15

14

0

72

7

Anglia News

4

0

0

7

8

Anglia News

20

4

0

52

9

Look East

15

6

0

18

10

Look East

1

1

0

11

11

Anglia News

9

2

0

13

12

Anglia News

4

2

0

7

13

Anglia News

2

2

0

5

14

Look East

21

2

0

25

15

Anglia News

2

1

0

2

16

Look East

1

1

0

1

17

Anglia News

11

4

0

13

18

ITN News

7

3

0

7

19

Anglia News

4

0

0

4

20

Tomorrows World

18

9

0

57

21

999

9

6

0

16

22

999

2

1

0

3

23

Look East

3

0

0

3

24

Always & Everyone

4

1

0

3

25

Anglia News

7

2

0

4

26

Look East

6

2

0

9

27

Look East

7

0

0

12

28

Look East

8

0

0

11

29

Anglia News

5

1

0

5

30

Anglia News

8

3

0

11

31

Anglia News

2

2

0

4

32

Look East

5

3

0

17

33

Look East

7

4

0

21

34

Look East

3

1

0

5

Record

 

Est

ID

ID

Individ

Number

Programme

Ff's

Male

Fem

Sightings

35

BBC Evening News

5

0

0

5

36

Silent Witness

14

7

0

42

37

Tomorrows World

7

7

0

17

38

Anglia News

2

0

0

2

39

Always & Everyone

2

2

0

22

40

ITN News

2

2

0

2

41

DIY SOS

12

12

0

98

42

Animal Hospital

4

4

0

5

43

Whatever you want

22

3

0

134

44

Harbour Lights

6

2

0

7

45

Londons Burning

14

12

2

636

46

999

15

9

0

49

47

999

7

5

0

66

48

999

8

5

0

39

49

999

25

6

0

51

50

City Central

6

1

0

17

51

Londons Burning

14

12

2

756

52

Good Driver

5

5

0

21

53

999

16

10

0

53

54

999

3

2

0

7

55

BBC Evening News

2

0

0

2

56

BBC Evening News

12

1

0

12

57

BBC Evening News

26

0

0

26

58

ITN News

20

1

0

20

59

Look East

4

2

0

4

60

Anglia News

3

2

0

3

61

Look East

1

0

0

1

62

Airport

10

7

0

96

63

BBC Evening News

1

0

0

1

64

Tomorrows World

12

5

0

53

65

Anglia weather Week

5

0

0

6

66

ITN News

5

0

0

5

67

ITN News

4

0

0

4

68

BBC Evening News

9

2

0

10

Record

 

Est

ID

ID

Individ

Number

Programme

Ff's

Male

Fem

Sightings

69

Harbour Lights

4

3

0

8

70

Londons Burning

11

9

2

1203

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

569

238

6

4087

 

Notes.

1.      Estimated Fire-fighters.

The number of individual fire-fighters who were screened in the programme considered.

2.      Identified Male Fire-fighters.

The number of male firefighters positively identified in the programme being considered.

3.      Identified Female Fire-fighters.

The number of female fire-fighters positively identified in the programme being considered.

4.      Individual Sightings.

This figure is a function of all the scenes noted (table 2) and the number of firefighters in each individual scene.

 

Table 4. Gender Identification by programmes 21/03/2000–21/05/2000 inclusive.

 

Programme

 

 

ID

ID

Est

Individ

 

 

Airplay

Events 1

Male

Fem

Ff's

Sightings

1

Anglia News

8m 08s

15

27

0

103

152

2

Look East

5m 59s

13

22

0

82

138

3

999

9m 07s

8

44

0

85

284

4

BBC News

1m 19s

6

3

0

55

56

5

ITN News

2m 17s

5

6

0

38

38

6

Tomorrows World

8m 58s

3

21

0

37

127

7

Londons Burning

91m 56s

3

33

6

39

2595

8

Emmerdale

7m 02s

2

16

0

16

143

9

Animal hospital

1m 40s

2

8

0

8

27

10

Always and Everyone

2m 13s

2

3

0

6

25

11

Harbour Lights

1m 17s

2

5

0

10

15

12

Pass it On

4m 28s

1

14

0

15

72

13

Commercial

06s

1

1

0

1

1

14

Silent Witness

2m 03s

1

7

0

14

42

15

DIY SOS

2m 19s

1

12

0

12

98

16

Whatever You Want

4m 40s

1

3

0

22

134

17

City Central

14s

1

1

0

6

17

18

Good Driver

1m 02s

1

5

0

5

21

19

Airport

6m 59s

1

7

0

10

96

20

Weather Week

07s

1

0

0

5

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

161m 54s

70

238

6

569

4087

 

Notes.

1.      Events.

For factual programmes, events were registered as individual reports of fire related incidents or events. Therefore, several events could be recorded during 1 programme. For fictional drama programmes events were registered in individual programme units.

 

 

 

Table 5. Gender Identification by programme type 21/03/2000–21/05/2000 inclusive.

 

Programme

Events

Airplay

ID

ID

Est

Individ

 

Type

 

 

Male

Fem

Ff's

Sightings

1

News

39

17m 43s

58

0

278

384

2

Drama

11

104m 45s

65

6

91

2837

3

Series Features

17

34m 33s

111

0

172

725

4

Commercial

1

6s

1

0

1

1

5

Game Show

1

4m 40s

3

0

22

134

6

Weather

1

7s

0

0

5

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

70

161m 54s

238

6

569

4087

 

Table 6. Gender Identification by broadcasters 21/03/2000–21/05/2000 inclusive.

 

Events

Airplay

Scenes

ID

ID

Est

Individ

 

 

 

 

Male

Fem

Ff's

Sightings

BBC 1

40

45m 37s

528

138

0

346

1051

BBC 2

1

4m 28s

29

14

0

15

72

Anglia

29

111m 49s

1598

86

6

208

2960

Channel 4

0

0s

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

70

161m 54s

2155

238

6

569

4083

 

Table 7. Televised firefighting that is known to be omitted 21/03/2000 – 21/05/2000 inclusive.

 

 

Date

Programme

Broadcaster

Situation

Reason for Omission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

23rd April

BBC News

BBC 1

Fire

Equipment failure on Easter Sunday which prevented replacement from retail outlets.

 

2

23rd April

BBC News

BBC 1

Aircrash

As above.

 

3

6th May

Whatever You Want

BBC 1

Show Prize

Recording lost during transfer to master tape.

 

4

10th May

Airline

Anglia

Series Feature

 Error during set up for advance recording

 

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