Greenwich firefighters took to Twitter to make a progressive case against reinforcing gender roles.

Responding to Sunday’s Metro front page story headlined "Church: let kids choose their gender" – about the Church of England’s advice to let children be children – they questioned why girls should not be expected to put on firefighters’ helmets.

The church’s advice is quoted as: “A child may choose the tutu, the princess’s tiara and heels and/or the fireman’s helmet, tool belt and the superhero cloak without expectation or comment.”

Greenwich firefighters later tweeted, alongside a picture of the article: “When a girl tries on a "fireman's helmet and belt" as mentioned below, it does not imply that she is questioning her gender, she is merely considering her career options of becoming a firefighter.”

Last month, the London Fire Brigade began a campaign to get people to stop using the word “fireman”, and instead use the gender-neutral term “firefighter”.

Speaking at the start of the campaign, London fire commissioner Dany Cotton said: “The first woman firefighter joined London Fire Brigade in 1982, and it’s ridiculous that 35 years later people are still surprised to see women firefighters or calling them firemen.

“London is a complex and challenging city and it takes a diverse selection of skills, strengths and specialisms to protect it - qualities that both men and women possess. I want to shake off outdated language which we know is stopping young girls and women from considering this rewarding and professional career.

“We owe it to tomorrow’s firefighters to challenge negative stereotypes today.”