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Essex Emergency Services Press for Progress #IWD2018

International Women’s Day is celebrated across the world on March 8. The day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe and highlights the need to further progress towards gender parity. This year’s theme is to ‘Press for Progress’.

Today, emergency services have pressed for progress by holding a joint conference led by Essex and Kent Police, East of England Ambulance Service and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service at the Chelmsford City Racecourse to celebrate the achievements of women in the Emergency Services. The Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner also supported the event with Jane Gardner, Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner facilitating the day.

Inspirational speakers included Ann Millington, Chief Executive of Kent Fire who spoke around challenging stereotypes, as well as Assistant Chief Constable Jo Shiner, Kent Police, who talked about coaching and mentoring.

Jane Gurney, CEO of Essex and Herts Air Ambulance highlighted the importance of collaboration, achieving more together.

Essex boasts a highly diverse culture and we are committed to supporting all communities equally.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s Area Manager Moira Bruin said: “Today has been about our emergency services coming together to share and celebrate our collective stories to empower and inspire women inside and outside our organisations.
“There is strong call to motivate and unite colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.”

Superintendent Cat Barrie, Essex Police, said: ““Our organisations have shown a truly collaborative approach by continuing to progress the gender agenda through action, support and unity.
“2018 celebrates 100 years of women having the vote in England and Wales and I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with all women today.”

Director of People and Culture East of England Ambulance Service Lindsey Stafford-Scott, added: “This event has been such an amazing effort of collaboration in the region and has been the perfect opportunity for us all to work together to showcase the contributions women continue to make to emergency services.
“We heard incredible stories about women’s experiences in these services and recognised that while it hasn’t been plain sailing in the past, the strength of women together in the blue light community and beyond is now making waves to pave the way for an equal and better future. We will continue to work together to press for progress and ensure a fantastic legacy from our first joint IWD event”

The event has been organised by Essex Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Kent Police.

Our emergency services are pressing for progress. We can’t just wait for equality to happen - we need to keep pushing for it.

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