Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and LGBT Equality

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is proudly committed to LGBT inclusion, both for our colleagues and our local communities.  Much of this work has been driven by our highly visible and successful LGBT staff network, FirePride, and corresponding allies network, FirePride Allies.  This hard work culminated in the Service achieving 4th place on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2018 (a national measure of LGBT Inclusion): Top 100 Inclusion (opens in new window) This made us not just the top performing North West Employer, but also the top performing emergency service. 

Why does LGBT Inclusion matter?

Chester Pride 2018LGBT inclusion matters for both our staff and communities.  For our staff, it is about creating a working environment where everyone can be themselves.  Evidence shows that employees are more productive and more engaged when they don’t have to edit themselves, and where they don’t have to hide their gender identity or sexual orientation.  Building a workplace where people can be open about their gender identity and sexual orientation benefits all staff by fostering a culture where every employee can talk about their own diversity.

LGBT inclusion matters to our local communities because LGBT communities may be at greater risk of fire related incidents than their heterosexual counterparts. Research continues to show that many LGBT people do not readily engage with public agencies like the fire and rescue service, out of fear of discrimination, which may result in them being more at risk. Furthermore, it is well understood that some of the key risk factors for dying in a house fire such as age, isolation, mental health and alcohol use can be significantly higher among older LGBT individuals (65+) than the population as a whole.

As such, it is crucial that our services are fully inclusive of all LGBT communities and it is important that we remain approachable by all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is incumbent on us as a fire and rescue service to reduce risk to vulnerable sections of our community.

That’s why we remain committed to LGBT Inclusion.  We’re proud to be visible - you’ll see us at many local Prides replete with our rainbow fire engine, and our staff often wear rainbow lanyards, laces and epaulettes and pink FirePride pin badges.  Please do come and say hello!   

If you would like to find out more about our approach to LGBT inclusion, please contact firepride@cheshirefire.gov.uk

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Chester Pride 2018