National Update

National Bulletin - November 2021

Women In The Fire Service

We are very pleased to announce that the FRSA has taken up Corporate Membership of Women in the Fire Service.

The FRSA has been a longstanding supporter of the WFS (previously Networking Women in the Fire Service) due to the work they have undertaken over many years to provide support and assistance to female staff of all roles. By taking up Corporate Membership of WFS, we aim to not only work closer with the organisation regarding areas of mutual benefit, but our members will be able to call upon a support network which has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will compliment our own resources.

We are fully supportive of an inclusive and diverse workforce which is reflective of the communities it serves, however, despite various national and local initiatives, the overall level of operational females is around 7.5%.  It is therefore extremely disappointing that we have noticed a pattern of poor treatment towards female staff within our casework, which is not acceptable and is being challenged by the union.

In addition, we have raised and continue with our long-standing argument that the fitness standards are not fit for purpose (no pun intended) and are disproportionally detrimental to female employees, often leading to shortened careers due to a general inability to maintain the required level of fitness compared to their male colleagues.

The above is an example of why we believe it to be beneficial to support and work with WFS and provide our membership with even greater resources and representation.

If you or someone you know would benefit from being a member of the FRSA please do not hesitate to join and gain access to the ever-growing list of member benefits.

Background

Women in the Fire Service UK (WFS) was set up in the 1990s as a self-help group, consisting of all genders, from all roles across the Fire and Rescue Service to members of airport, defence and works fire services.

Since its formation, the membership have sought to influence the equality agenda, taking active roles in research, for example into women’s fit fire kit, supporting positive action initiatives, working with the government in nationwide campaigns for recruitment and playing a part in national groups with other stakeholders. We are recognised nationally, currently holding a seat on the Fire Sector Federation, amongst other inputs to the local and national agenda.

FRSA Noticeboards

The FRSA has a facilities agreement in every FRS where it has a recognition agreement with the local service/authority, this includes the use of a noticeboard on every fire station. If your station doesn’t have one and would be interested in having one, either contact your local FRSA official or FRSA HQ and we will be happy to provide one.

Represent the FRSA in your service

We are always willing to hear from members who are interested in joining our network of local officials that represent members within their own fire and rescue service. The contribution these officials make can literally be life-changing for members and is a very rewarding role which attracts payment for trade union duties. Training is provided by the Association and a mentoring arrangement is available, although the key attribute is your experience as an operational firefighter!

If you would like to know more, please contact FRSA HQ via 01953 455005 or [email protected].

Our offer to you

A new information leaflet is available encapsulating the key benefits of being a member of the FRSA. The document is available via our website and we would recommend that this is shared with your colleagues on station.