Press release

Fire service wins award for diversity and inclusion efforts

Laura Fuller and Steve Tovey AFSA Awards 2023

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has been recognised nationally for the work it does to increase and recognise diversity.

The Service received five nominations in the Asian Fire Service Personal Fair and Diverse Awards, winning one and receiving certificate of merits for the other four.

The Positive Action Recruitment Team took home the AFSA Positive Action Award at the event in Leeds on Wednesday 22 November. The award recognised how ECFRS has made positive action a priority in its recruitment strategy, with recruitment streams including: regular online public Q&A sessions and the use of social media to engage with younger audiences.

The four certificate of merits were awarded to:

  • Champion of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award - Corporate Communications Team 
  • Equality Role Model of the year Award - Sarah Thapa, Communications Officer 
  • Going the Extra Mile - Dave Bond, Group Manager, Head of Protection
  • Partnership of the year - Scarlett Perrin 

Chief Fire Officer Rick Hylton said:

“Our colleagues know how dedicated to celebrating and recognising diversity we are, and this is clear from the amount of nominations we received. My sincere congratulations go to all the teams and individuals who were recognised in these awards.

“Occasionally we are challenged by people when we talk about diversity and told that we should treat everyone the same.

“I want to be clear; equality and diversity isn’t about treating everyone same - it’s about recognising people are different, which is why it’s so important to understand these differences. When we understand and celebrate diversity it results in everyone accessing opportunities to work in an environment that supports them to be their best.

“At Essex County Fire and Rescue Service we know the best teams are made up of different kinds of people.

“We also know some communities are less likely to consider our Service as an employer; this might be due to outdated stereotypes or lack of representation or role models. We’ve worked hard to reach those communities with the message that our Service is a place everyone can thrive.”

During the event Dr Muhammad Ahsan, a Community Safety Officer at ECFRS, launched a guide about how fire and rescue services can support Muslim colleagues during Ramadan.

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