A pledge to provide help and support to firefighters and staff who are diagnosed with a terminal illness has been made by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The Dying to Work charter is a promise from employers to ensure job security and provide support such as counselling and financial advice to those employees affected.
It also ensures training to line managers and human resources staff on dealing with terminal illness including how to discuss future plans and make adaptations to an individual's role as necessary.
The Service has also arranged additional training from MacMillan Cancer Support.
The charter states employers should inform all members of the staff of the commitments it has made.
Dawn Buchanan, whose late husband Gary died of cancer in November 2017 after 21 years as a firefighter, attended the signing.
"The support Gary and I received from the fire service was incredible.
"When a person gets the tragic news that they have a terminal illness issues of financial security and that of your loved ones can be extremely stressful.
"The commitments laid out in this charter remove that burden of worry and provide reassurance for anyone who finds themselves in that position."
The charter was set up by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and aims to remove additional stress and uncertainty from an employment point of view.
This was signed by fire service Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority Chairman Councillor Chris Carter today (Jan 17) and trade unions at the organisation’s Eastleigh HQ.
The bespoke copy of the charter was created after discussions with trade unions and representative bodies.
CFO Odin said:
“This is about doing the right thing. As an organisation we pride ourselves on looking after our staff – especially in their times of greatest need.
“By signing this charter we hope to reassure staff of the commitment and support we will offer should they suffer from a terminal illness.
“We are proud to sign up to this important charter.”
HFRA Chairman Chris Carter said:
“Our people make the organisation what it is – one of the best fire and rescue services in the country.
“I am often humbled by the dedication and extra mile efforts that our teams go to to keep the people of Hampshire safe.
“It is only right that when people who save lives need help themselves that it is forthcoming and unwavering.”