Diverse approach in London

Published:  01 July, 2016

London Fire Brigade has launched an ambitious ten-year plan aimed at making the capital’s fire service the most diverse and inclusive in the country. 

Under the plan fire chiefs will take an even more hard-line approach to bullying and harassment and will seek to further increase the diversity of the workforce by reinforcing efforts to encourage more people from a range of backgrounds to apply to work for the Brigade.

The strategy, called ‘safer together’, has been approved unanimously by members of the London Fire and Planning Authority, the political body that runs the LFB. It builds on the LFB’s foundation of equalities work formed on the basis of the Brigade’s first strategy that was launched back in 1996.

Dr Fiona Twycross AM, chair of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said: ‘No organisation can be complacent about diversity – although the brigade has made progress in creating a more inclusive culture there is still a considerable way to go. I am delighted there is cross-party support for the LFB inclusion strategy which aims to make London Fire Brigade more inclusive and truly representative of the communities we serve.’

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson, said: ‘We operate in one of the most diverse cities in the world, so it is absolutely imperative that our workforce reflects the communities we serve. It can be hard to persuade women and people from different backgrounds to consider the fire service as a viable career option, but it absolutely is and some of the people we currently have working for us are testament to that.

‘I am proud of the achievements we have made on diversity and inclusion in recent years, but it is now more important than ever to look how we can improve even further in the future.

‘This ten-year plan will help us to build on our reputation as the most diverse and inclusive fire service in the country, shaping how we manage any form of discrimination causing our staff to feel they are not part of our team.’

The Brigade currently employs 4,785 firefighters and officers, of whom 328 are female. When recruiting new firefighters, it aims to increase the number of female trainees to 18% and the number of black minority ethnic firefighters to 25%.

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