Fire Service celebrates Pride month
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will celebrate Pride month with virtual celebrations for the second year running.
The Service's LGBTQ+ staff support group, BEING, will be promoting virtual celebrations for staff to celebrate throughout June.
BEING is one of many staff support networks in the Service and aims to support ECFRS employees through peer support, mentoring and social networking to help create an LGBTQ+ friendly working environment.
It also aims to increase an understanding of LGBTQ+ issues within ECFRS, raise awareness of LGBTQ+ events and visibly show support to all members of the LBGTQ+ community and their allies.
Matt Hill, Chair of BEING, said: "Pride month is so important regardless of your sexuality because it gives us a chance to show representation and acceptance to our communities.
"Not all of us will identify as LGBTQ+, but we are likely to all know somone who is, someone we work with, a friend or family member. Or we may even know someone and not know they are LGBTQ+. Imagine being an ally to someone who is not out. Someone sitting next to you or overhearing a conversation and you are being kind and showing your support for the LGBTQ+ community. That has real power."
The Service will also be changing its social media profile pictures to represent the new LGBTQ+ flag that celebrates transgender and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
Jo Turton, Chief Fire Officer / Chief Executive, said: "In the Fire Service, we are trying to change culture one conversation at a time and my challenge is to keep speaking my mind, to remain curious, to learn from others and always try to do the right thing.
"What I know and can see from the actions we're taking here in our Service is by acting together, we're working to make an inclusive workplace we all deserve. Together, I really believe we can make our workplaces inclusive for everyone no matter our differences."
Essex Pride, the county's largest celebration event has been rescheduled to August this year when communities hope to come together with less restrictions to celebrate LGBTQ+ life.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is an equal opportunities employer and celebrates the diversity of its staff. If you would like to join Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, visit: join.essex-fire.gov.uk
Page last updated 31 May, 2021