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Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service publish Independent Review

Date: 17th October, 2023

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have today (17 October 2023) published the Independent Review report into their workplace culture.
The review, which was commissioned by Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell following a number of serious allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the media, was conducted by Alex Johnson QFSM and her team.

In an open letter to the review lead, Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “I am incredibly grateful to those who came forward to share their experiences with your review team. This shows the desire and commitment of our staff to further strengthen our culture so that every individual feels respected, valued, and safe in their workplace. I would also like to personally thank you and your team for your work in holding a mirror up to our organisation.

He added: “You have also identified some concerning experiences within your report, and I am truly sorry that these have occurred. I personally found some of the experiences of our staff were uncomfortable for me to read and although we have much in place, I can see that we have not always got things right and this must and will change. There is no place for inappropriate behaviour in our organisation and I am fully committed to driving our culture forward positively.”

The report is available on the Service’s website, alongside the Service’s response in the form of an open letter to Alex Johnson and responses to each of the 28 recommendations. This is accompanied by a pre-recorded interview with the Chief Fire Officer.

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