04:30PM, Monday 03 September 2018
The number of female firefighters in Berkshire is below the national average, it has been revealed.
From April to June, 4.3 per cent of Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s firefighters were women and
6.9 per cent of all its staff groups were black and minority ethnic (BME).
The figures show that 20.3 per cent of staff across all groups were women.
No figure for the number of BME firefighters was given.
Across the nation 5.2 per cent of firefighters are women and 3.9 per cent are BME.
Hayden Jenkins, watch manager at Maidenhead Fire Station, said: “There is no stereotypical firefighter and we’re looking for people from all backgrounds.
“We’d particularly like to challenge the perception that all firefighters are white males and are actively encouraging more people to consider applying to the service.
“We would like Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service to reflect the communities we serve.”
The figures have been released after the Home Office launched a campaign on Friday, August 24 to transform the diversity of the country’s fire and rescue services.
The Join the Team: Become a Firefighter campaign will start with a fitness guide encouraging more women to join the service, and providing confidence to would-be applicants.
It will also produce a series of ‘mythbusters’ later this year, in which firefighters share their exper-iences of life in the service.
Nick Hurd MP, the minister for policing and the fire service, said: “Forget what you see on TV – being a firefighter is not always about carrying people out of burning buildings.
“As fires have become less common, the role is becoming more about engaging with communities and doing work to prevent fires from happening in the first place.
“So, if you care about your community and enjoy connecting with people, then give a taster day a go.
“I am always impressed by the bravery and dedication of firefighters.
“But it’s time for the workforce to fully reflect the public it serves.”
For more on roles at RBFRS visit www.rbfrs.co.uk/careers/on-call-firefighter
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