• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
French firefighters: Why are they so smoking hot?
French pompiers, the hottest firefighters in the world? All photos: Fred Goudon

French firefighters: Why are they so smoking hot?

Oliver Gee · 9 Dec 2015, 16:12

Published: 09 Dec 2015 16:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Dec 2015 16:12 GMT+01:00

Unclothed French firefighters, known as pompiers, have caught the attention of international eyes, again. 
 
This time it's thanks to the work of photographer Fred Goudon, who snapped a bunch of firefighters from across France to raise money for the NGO charity Pompier sans frontieres (see Goudon's site here). 
 
"The reaction has been kind of amazing, people are going crazy for it from Russia to Mexico," the photographer told The Local. 
 
Indeed, one international website called it "the most stunning 2016 calendar you've ever seen".
 
 
One look at the pictures and it becomes clear why the calendar has got internet users around the world hot under the collar.
 
The calendar features everything from a totally nude firefighter in the shower (see far below) to topless lads out the front of the station, gazing steely-eyed off into the distance.
 
It helps of course that the pompiers are all ridiculously good looking and have sculpted bodies made from the same mold of Brad Pitt from his Fight Club days.
 
But Goudon thinks it's not just the pecs and the six packs, it's also because firefighters have an almost mythical power over the public. 
 
"For me and for many others, firefighters are heroes. Every single day, these guys are out there saving people's lives. And they're all so nice, so strong... and you can see it in the pictures that there is a kind of pride in them that others don't have."
 
And it also no doubt helps that they're French, as French men and particularly French firefighters have a reputation for being hot.
 
 
 
"It's almost as if there's some kind of casting to get into the French fire service. Someone in the recruitment must have very good taste," he joked.
 
When The Local asked a strapping firefighter in the 19th arrondissement of Paris about why he and his colleagues are all so good looking and in such good shape, we just got a wry smile and were advised to call the press office. 
 
Ingrid Meucci, spokesperson at Pompiers Sans Frontières, brushes off the idea that recruits in France are chosen on the size of their six packs. 
 
"Absolutely not! If you want to go out in the field, you have to be in good shape but it's not a part of the criteria. Your motivation and spirit are more important to us," she told The Local.
 
 
Take a look at the "making of" video for the calendar, below. 
 
 
"The calendar is for us a fantastic opportunity for us to do more for those who need it most. It's great that our fire fighters agreed to get naked for a good cause," Meucci said
 
But firefighters in other countries just don't seem to have the same standing as the strapping young French pompiers, who turn heads every time they pop out for a group job in their very short shorts. And there's never the danger that one would get wedged half way down the chimney.
 
Could it be their balls - the Firemen's Ball that is (Bal de Pompiers) - which they hold annually for Bastille Day on July 14th? This is often the closest most French people get to firefighters, as they open their stations doors to let the locals in for drinks, a celebration, a chat and possibly more.
 
 
Story continues below…
The tradition reportedly dates back to the start of the 20th century as the firemen who took part in the parade were allowed to bring ladies back to the entrance of the station.
 
Is this what gives French firefighters the incentive to stay in shape?
 
Or could it be their sense of humour, notably demonstrated last year when half-naked French firefighters made headlines after miming a rendition of "Call me maybe", a video (below) which racked up hundreds of thousands of hits (and the ire of their managers). 
 
 
Who knows the reason why French firemen seem so much more handsome than their counterparts, but in case you needed further proof, why not see just a few more pics from the 2016 calendar here. If you click the link, you can buy the calendar and have the firefighters on your wall.
 
And raise money for charity, of course, in case you needed another reason. 
 
 
All photos: Fred Goudon. Visit his site here
 
 
 
Today's headlines
France charges Charlie Hebdo killer’s relative
The suspect was charged after being handed over to French authorities by Bulgaria. Dimitar Dilkoff /AFP

The brother-in-law of one of the jihadists who attacked French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last year faced terrorism charges on Saturday for allegedly trying to join Islamic State fighters in Syria, a judicial source said.

French mayors dismiss suspended burqini ban
Photo: Jean Christophe Magnenet /AFP

The row over France’s burqini ban continues with several mayors vowing to keep restrictions in place despite the country’s top court suspending the ban in the resort town of Villeneuve-Loubet.

France's top court suspends burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court has suspended a town's ban on wearing the full-body burqini swimsuit.

Milk price raised, but French farmers still unhappy
The sign on the tractor reads 'We're dying', as farmers blocked Lactalis dairy headquarters. Photo: AFP

Milk prices have been raised by France's biggest dairy group to placate farmers, but unions say their demands have not been met.

Burqini bans 'dividing France's Muslim women'
Photo: AFP

The burqini bans have divided France, but they have also left Muslim women in France in two groups, argues a professor who has spent years studying the impact of the burqa.

Pizza-delivery drones could be on their way to France
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's your pizza. Photo: AFP

No more need to deal with grumpy French waiters...

Heatwave drags on as France faces red-hot weekend
Photo: AFP

France will see searing temperatures on Friday and Saturday, as the heatwave warnings have been extended (once again).

Nice: The French capital of burqini fines
The beach in the Riviera city of Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

It's one of only two of the 30 towns with a burqini ban in place to have actually given out any fines.

How to make France's famed Île Flottante dessert
Photo: Paul Oatway

France-based food blogger Laura Tobin shares her recipe for this delicious French dessert.

France's top court set to rule on burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court will decide this afternoon whether to overturn the burqini ban.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
2,755
jobs available