Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are committed to ensuring we continually improve as a Service but also more specifically in terms of equality, diversity, and inclusion. We therefore use the LGA Fire and Rescue Service Equality Framework 2017 to monitor and benchmark our performance.
The framework is intended to help fire and rescue services:
- deliver the best possible services to their communities and those who are most vulnerable or at risk
- employ a workforce that reflects the changing role of Services and the diversity of the area they are serving
- provide equality of opportunity for all staff and demonstrate due regard for and the value of difference
- ensure that all staff are treated with dignity and respect and have a workplace that is free from harassment and bullying
We use this framework to confirm that we are performing against our equality duties, we have a corporate target to ‘improve the diversity of our workforce as a whole with a focus on increasing the diversity of firefighters by attracting 20% of applicants from underrepresented groups’ and this framework allows us to monitor the actions happening across the service, driving the activity towards us achieving our corporate target. In line with the position of the NFCC we are striving to create an inclusive workplace where diversity and inclusion is designed into everything we do. By benchmarking ourselves against the Equality Framework we are able to continually monitor the progress of our performance.
In addition, we regularly monitor our workforce profile to identify where our actions have had an impact and whether there is any more that we can do to improve on our performance. The People Moving Forward Strategy further explores our achievements, and the benefits we have realised from these improvements as well as a look to the future, committing us to continual improvement and evaluation of our performance.
Further means and measures are in place to evaluate our performance in more specific areas. As a disability confident employer, we are signed up to the Disability Confident Scheme, the scheme has been put in place to encourage employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people. DWFRS are fully committed to supporting the employment of those with disabilities within our workforce.