Fire brigade begins 'drive for equality'

From left, Beth Farhat, Regional Secretary, Northern Region TUC; Dave Howe, Fire Brigades Union; Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton, Councillor Jan Brunton Dobson, Chair, Cleveland Fire Authority and Edwin Jeffries and Duncan Rothwell from Unison.
From left, Beth Farhat, Regional Secretary, Northern Region TUC; Dave Howe, Fire Brigades Union; Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton, Councillor Jan Brunton Dobson, Chair, Cleveland Fire Authority and Edwin Jeffries and Duncan Rothwell from Unison.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has launched a new drive for equality, bosses have announced.

The organisation is hoping to increase diversity and inclusion in a bid to help build stronger communities and an inclusive workforce.

Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton said: “Our world is changing, our communities are diverse and dynamic and we need to adapt and respond accordingly if we are to continue to keep people safe and build a brighter future for all.

“We want to create a work environment of equal opportunities that is free from discrimination and where people thrive and where everyone recognises the positive contribution and value of diversity.

“This commitment will help us build on the work we have already been doing and also learning from our experiences.”

The new Equality, Diversion and Inclusion Strategy for the next four years commits to having accessible services that are responsive to the needs of diverse communities, a diverse workforce and a working environment that celebrates and supports equality, diversity and inclusion.

Chairman of Cleveland Fire Authority, Councillor Jan Brunton Dobson, said: “As a fire and rescue authority, we firmly believe we can make a real positive difference to the safety and quality of lives of people in our communities and this strategy will help move that forward.”

Other areas in the strategy include having political and professional leaders who promote equality, diversity and inclusion and procurement to advance equality of opportunity and secure efficiencies.