Page last updated at 18:51 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 19:51 UK

Woman firefighter gets pay-out over discrimination case

Former Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service employee Kate Ellis
Kate Ellis said she was "singled out"

A woman firefighter who secured an out-of-court settlement in a sex discrimination case against her brigade claims she suffered years of abuse.

Kate Ellis claimed she was "singled out" as the only female crew member at Hampshire's Kingsclere Fire Station.

The 47-year-old featured on Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service posters encouraging women to join its service.

It said it was unable to disclose the settlement made on Thursday, two days into a 12-day tribunal in Reading.

'Starting afresh'

Mrs Ellis told BBC News she was fulfilling "a childhood dream" when she joined the service in 2003.

She said: "I wanted to do a worthwhile job that I could be proud of, [instead] I was singled out and isolated.

"I spoke to crew managers, watch managers and group managers who just didn't listen to my concerns. "

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service poster featuring Kate Ellis
Ms Ellis said being a firefighter was a "childhood dream"

Mrs Ellis, from Kingsclere, who now has a new job with the NHS, says she intends to move out of the village.

A statement from the service said: "Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service confirms that it has attended an employment tribunal in Reading.

"The claim for direct sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and constructive unfair dismissal from a former employee was settled on Thursday, 22 April to the mutual satisfaction of the claimant and the service.

"The claim settlement is a private matter between the claimant and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and, as such, we are unable to disclose further information."

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