Hi and welcome to the Antarctic Fire Angels Blog!
If you want to find out more about these inspirational women you are in the right place! Together they are a force to be reckoned with; inspiring the next generation, pushing all out girl power to the limits, squashing stereotypes and tackling mental health head on!
The Antarctic Fire Angels are six firefighters from London Fire Brigade and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service; Founder of Antarctic Fire Angels and Team Leader Nakita Ross, Co-founder Georgina Gilbert, Nikki Upton, Alison Kibblewhite, Rebecca Rowe and Beci Newton. Together they have over 100 years’ experience and service in the fire brigade and have decided to take on the mammoth and gruelling challenge of being the first all-female emergency service team to cross the Antarctic!
In 2023 they are planning to take a route never done before by an all-female team which will cover 1900km from Berkner Island to the Ross Ice Shelf. That means they will be covering around 27km every single day in temperatures as low as -50 and all in around 70 days! It will be a huge undertaking where their nerves of steel, grit and determination will be pushed to the max.
This blog will introduce you to the team and their own reasons for being part of this dynamic and empowering group taking on this challenge together.
It all started at a WFS (Women in the Fire Service UK) event in 2019. The previous year Nakita gave an Urban Search and Rescue workshop which Georgina had signed up to; this is where the two met and instantly became friends. Fast forward to 2019 and the keynote speaker was Sophie Montague, adventurer and record holder for Ice Maiden who was also part of the first female team to ski across the Antarctic continent. Both in attendance it ignited a fire within Nakita and Georgina who were so inspired that they decided to start planning their own Antarctic challenge!
With huge support from family and friends, along with all firefighters in their brigades they start their training this year. They will take on a huge variety of different events and expeditions to ensure they are as ready as they can be when it comes to the real thing whilst still keeping up with their day jobs! Training consists of a Cross Country skiing course, mountain navigation, crevasse rescue, polar expedition training and entering events as a team like the Blue Light Stair Run in May this year.
We all have our own struggles in life, our own stories to share. We all have demons that push us to our limits, push us to take on challenges and conquer things that have never been done before. These six inspirational firefighters are no different; they all have their own moving and empowering stories to share, how they are dealing with mental health and how some have overcome huge life events to be where they are today. Over the coming months we will delve into those journeys so far and get an insight in to how they are using this challenge to support each other and more importantly spread the word. This is about women empowering women in a positive way whilst raising awareness of mental health and pushing towards a change in boundaries set by society.
The expedition will be funded by donations to total £500,000, but the team also want to raise money for the charities they are supporting along the way;
The Fire Fighters Charity – https://www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/
The Fawcett Society – https://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/
Harlequins Foundation – https://www.harlequins.foundation/
If you feel inspired by what this team plan to do and why they plan to do it and want to support them then please check out the website below;
Don’t forget to check back for our weekly updates with all the news and events our Fire Angels are taking on over the coming months and years to get themselves ready for their big adventure! Meet the team and learn more about the charities they want to raise money for and the companies who are sponsoring them.
This adventure will surely go down in history so jump on board and come for the ride as we follow every step with this epic team!
Next up; an introduction to the team starting with the 3 firefighters from London led by Team Leader and founder of the Antarctic Fire Angels, Nakita Ross.
Written by Elissa.