FRSA National Update
14 December 2022
Spotlight on Culture within FRS
Earlier this week ITV broke the story on South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and allegations of sexual harassment. This comes rapidly on the heels of Nazir Afzal‘s report into the culture of London Fire Brigade in which the brigade was deemed to be institutionally misogynist and racist. This week LFB has been put into special measures by HMICFRS.
South Wales FRS was the first fire service to be awarded the White Ribbon. It is now the first to have it suspended.
While these reports highlight incidents of misogyny, racism and sexual harassment that are abhorrent, our only surprise is that it has taken this long to come out into the public domain. As recently stated on our YouTube channel, the behaviours contained in the LFB report are not unique to London. Such behaviours exist in every fire and rescue service, the only difference is whether it is a very small minority at fault or it is more widespread.
The FRSA has dealt with casework relating to similar allegations and continues to represent members who are victims of harassment and bullying. We are fully aware of the types of behaviour that exist within services and how such improper conduct is often ignored by the fire and rescue service.
We have also been made aware that following the publication of the LFB report and the news article by ITV’s Paul Brand, numerous other employees have come forward to the media to highlight their experiences of inappropriate behaviour.
We want to be absolutely clear that such behaviour has no place in the workplace or society as a whole and needs to be exposed and dealt with appropriately.
In an effort to play our part in this process, we urge any member of the fire and rescue service, who has experienced inappropriate behaviour – irrespective of whether they are members or not – to contact FRSA HQ for confidential support and advice as soon as possible.
Please continue to encourage colleagues to join our union, as it is now crystal clear that an alternative union is desperately needed within the fire and rescue service. Victims have been denied a voice for too long, and that must be brought to an end.
Chief Executive Officer
We are now on WhatsApp!
In an ongoing effort to make it as easy as possible to contact FRSA HQ we now have our own WhatsApp account. You can contact us via the QR code, just scan the code to add us to your contacts.
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.