A firefighter has slammed the county’s fire service, accusing it of setting up a new female recruit for lewd comments.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were forced to delete a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, after a seemingly innocuous post introducing followers to new recruit Millie saw scores of inappropriate comments.

Wareham Fire Station in Dorset said that Millie’s favourite “tool is the big red key, which allows Mille (sic) to smash through doors”.

Salisbury Journal: The tweet in question, and Dorset and Wiltshire's disappointed response to its commentsThe tweet in question, and Dorset and Wiltshire's disappointed response to its comments (Image: Newsquest)

It has led one Wiltshire-based female firefighter to slam the brigade for the post.

"The moment I saw it I thought that had to have been done deliberately,” she told this newspaper, “I feel sorry for the girl, she may have posted it herself, but they set her up for that. 

"No other recruit is introduced in this way, they had to know what they were doing."

In response, DWFRS said the post was made the “celebrate… one of our new recruits” and there were “really positive and supportive” comments on other social media platforms.

It comes after the fire service was hit with controversy after allegations of sexism.

A report released in October found there was an “underlying culture of misogyny and sexism”.

The independent report was commissioned by Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell in January after allegations made in the media by whistle-blowers from within the service.

Reported behaviour included male use of female toilets, sexist and misogynist jokes, and allegations of pornographic images being shared between colleagues.

According to the findings, these actions often went unchallenged by the service.

DWFRS first hid the lewd comments underneath the X post about Millie, and added a second post which read: "We have removed inappropriate, degrading and downright disgusting comments from this post.

“These sort of comments will not be tolerated and it is disappointing that they have detracted from Millie's success."

The whole post has now been removed from X.

The force confirmed to this newspaper that the post was made by an individual from Wareham fire station, and that staff “have the flexibility within set guidelines to use their social media as they see fit”.

They added that a 'new recruit post' was a regular thing done by many of the region's stations and usually had “some narrative around their reasons for joining, their favourite pieces of equipment, or to celebrate their success as a method of highlighting the variety of equipment and skills required for the job”. 

A search of the Wareham Fire Station account to see if similar posts had been made for previous recruits and there is just one other that references a tool or equipment, regarding a male recruit “who loves to be in breathing apparatus”. 

There is only one other mention of a “tool” across the whole account, made in 2020 about a thermal imaging camera being a “great tool”. 

In an official statement, a spokesperson for DWFRS said: "This post was made to celebrate the successful completion of one of our new recruits Basic Skills Courses. As with previous posts welcoming new recruits, the individual concerned was involved in drafting the post.

"Unfortunately, the unacceptable comments on 'X' have turned the post into something quite unpleasant and upsetting for the member of staff and the organisation, therefore the post was removed from 'X'.

"As we could see the intention of the post was being misunderstood, we decided to edit the post but keep it on other platforms, as the comments here are really positive and supportive which is wonderful to see."