Last week, Women in the Fire Service Directors, Caroline Anderson and Louise Brown were welcomed by members of the Home Office, including Anjli Mapara, Deputy Head of Unit – Fire Strategy and Reform. On the agenda for discussion were the latest diversity figures, recruitment and retention, and the Core Code of Ethics.
Women in the Fire Service first met with the Home Office on March 1, 2021, acting as a new advisory body on the challenges still needing to be addressed to enable a more equal and progressive fire service. As of 31 March 2021, 7.5 per cent (2,640) of firefighters were women compared with 7.0 per cent (2,461) in the previous year.
Although public attitudes and perceived barriers to women joining are changing, the number of women becoming firefighters is only slowly evolving, and there remain challenges to achieving a truly modern fire sector.
“We are delighted to build on this relationship with the Home Office and to work together to further develop the fire sector to be representative of the communities it serves. The value and benefits of the Core Code of Ethics for the fire and rescue service and the wider communities we serve are clear. We are proud to promote the Code and encourage others to challenge inappropriate behaviour, create equal opportunities, and promote and celebrate differences. We hope to set up a working group together with the Home Office and other key stakeholders, and look forward to a thriving relationship.”Caroline Anderson, WFS Vice Chair
The Core Code of Ethics has been developed by the Local Government Association, the National Fire Chiefs Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners following the recommendation in the State of Fire report 2019. Developed in consultation with the sector, the Core Code is designed to help employees of the Fire and Rescue Service act in the best way towards each other and while serving the public.
It sets out five ethical principles, which provide a basis for promoting good behaviour and challenging inappropriate behaviour: Putting our communities first; Integrity; Dignity and respect; Leadership; Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
Find out more about the ethical principles set out in the Core Code here.