After four years of planning and intense training, the Antarctic Fire Angels have completed their expedition to the South Pole to demonstrate that women are capable of achieving anything they put their minds to.
The idea for the Antarctic Fire Angels (AFA) first started at the 2019 Women in the Fire Service (WFS) Training and Development event, sparked by Sophie Montange’s empowering message about showcasing women’s capabilities.
Inspired by the idea of challenging gender stereotypes, Rebecca Openshaw-Rowe and Georgina Gilbert formed a team of female firefighters with the goal of inspiring women and girls. In November 2019, the Antarctic Fire Angels team officially launched a plan to cross Antarctica, aiming to break gender barriers in male-dominated industries.
Their determination led them to attempt a world record in November 2023, skiing unassisted and unsupported for 1,130km from the coast to the South Pole in challenging conditions, ultimately completing the journey in 52 days, 10 hours, and 30 minutes.
“The sense of achievement after such an arduous and lengthy expedition is a feeling that will remain with us for the rest of our lives. We cannot believe that after four years of planning, skiing up to the geographic South Pole marks the end of all our planning and the expedition itself.
“With mixed emotions running close to the surface we can now begin to read the kind and supportive messages that so many people have left for us over the duration – 52 days, 10 hours, 30 mins. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times but the wonderful memories we have made will stay with us forever and used to inspire others.”Antarctic Fire Angels (AFA).
It was great to see the team choosing to support The Fire Fighters Charity which provides confidential, personalised support to the entire fire services community. The charity deliver mental health, physical health and social wellbeing services at their centres, remotely, online and in communities around the UK.
The Antarctic Fire Angels achievement is commendable, making history as a team of women who have become visible role models for the next generation. The Emergency Services Times team has been closely following the journey and extends heartfelt congratulations on the successful completion of the expedition. The Antarctic Fire Angels have truly exceeded expectations and set an inspiring example for others. We look forward to continuing the conversation with the team in an article coming soon.
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