Of the 52 individual fire service websites, 29 provide easily accessible information on their equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) activity. That is not to say that there is not work being done within the other 23 services, but it does suggest varying levels of commitment. If every fire and rescue service provides visible and accessible support for their workforce and their community, this can only encourage a stronger and more effective service.
Following on from FIRE’s previous articles about women and black, Asian and ethnic minority personnel within the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS), I have now gathered evidence to highlight some of the services that are engaging in positive action in support of their LGBTQ+ staff and external communities they serve. Although the use of terminology varies throughout the services, for the purposes of this article I will use the term LGBTQ+ to be inclusive of the many individual identities that sit under this umbrella.
For the LGBTQ+ communities, inclusion means being valued and accepted as your true self. In support of the inclusion work that is currently taking place, I have spoken to the Chair of the FBU LGBTQ+ committee, the Chair of Essex County FRS (ECFRS) BEING staff support network and the Chief Executive of Kent FRS (KFRS), and I will also highlight some of the most effective methods of visible EDI work taking place on service websites.