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Equality & Diversity

...supporting our staff and communities

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Equality and Diversity

Frequently asked questions

What does being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) have to do with fighting fires?

Certain factors can make someone more vulnerable to incidents, such as having little or no family to call upon in times of need, living alone, having health problems and/or taking medication, having a drink, smoking and/or taking drugs. All service providers, including Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services, need to be aware of the needs of all our service users.

Did you know that:

Above research is from Age Concern/Fire Kills and Prescription for Change: Lesbian & Bisexual women's health check 2008

*Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service understand that much of this research may relate to LGBT people who are 'on the scene' and that many do not choose this lifestyle.

Why do LGB employees need extra support?

Many people are not open about their sexual orientation at work because they fear the mockery, jokes or intimidation they might be subjected to. Some LGB people may also choose not to join the fire and rescue service due to an assumption it is for straight males. Whilst many would assume that someone's sexual orientation does not matter (we know that being able to do the job is the most important thing and it does not matter who cuts you out of a car, puts the fire out in your house etc). However, imagine coming to work, sitting with your colleagues and not being able to talk about your wife, husband, partner or making up a totally different life or not being able to do the career of your choice because you fear people finding out you're gay in what you believe to be a straight, male orientated organisation.

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Why do we have an LGBT Working Group?

The LGBT Working Group has been formed by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) employees who are passionate about achieving equality for our LGBT employees and ensuring that HFRS is a place where staff feel safe and confident in being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is also important that HFRS is accessible to all our servcie users and potential recruits, including those who identify as LGBT. The Working Group looks at issues effecting our LGBT staff as well as actions arising from the Stonewall workplace index.

Why do we have LGB webpages?

We recognise that the employment experience of our LGBT employees can be vastly different to those of their straight colleagues. Many LGBT workers are not confident in being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity and those who are can sometimes experience mockery and negative behaviours. These webpages have been set up so LGBT staff can find out about tailored support that is available to them, learn about the work being done within HFRS and raise awareness that policies such as the Family Friendly Policy are inclusive of those who are in same sex or civil partnerships.