His Magesty’s Report on Values and Culture in Fire and Rescue Services

A report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services has concluded that bullying, harassment, and discrimination are widespread in the 44 fire service organizations in England. Titled Values and Culture in Fire and Rescue Services, the 59 page report reaches a blunt conclusion: “It is time for this behaviour to stop.”

Quoting from the report:

  • Unacceptable behaviours sadly exist throughout society, and no workforce is completely immune to bullying, harassment and discrimination. But in those organisations with a responsibility to keep the public safe, and where public trust and confidence are so important, it is right that higher standards are demanded. There is no place in FRSs for any person who is unfit to fulfil a role that protects the public. Not only do communities need to be able to trust FRS staff, but in highly pressured scenarios and in a working environment where colleagues spend so much time together, staff need to be able to trust and depend on one another for their own safety.
  • Services must make sure that they are psychologically safe places to work in. This includes offering secure ways for staff to raise concerns and give feedback, without fear of repercussion and in the knowledge that concerns and allegations will be robustly investigated.

Here is a copy of the report.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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