Categories: Featured News
Tags: Ethics

FBU launches nationwide campaign to tackle harassment in the fire service


Share this content


The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has taken a decisive stand against decades of discrimination in the Fire Service by launching a robust plan to combat harassment and bullying.

In light of recent reports highlighting pervasive racism, homophobia, and misogyny in the sector, the FBU condemns the systemic failure of top-level leadership to address these issues effectively. The FBU has noted that these forms of discrimination are “routinely ignored, or even instigated, by people at the very top” of the service.

“Firefighters have been repeatedly failed, and some are scared to speak out,” said FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack, drawing attention to the continued neglect of this issue, as outlined in the London Fire Brigades Independent Culture Review and a report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

Given the decades-long failure of Chief Fire Officers and the Government to address this issue, Wrack asserted that firefighters had lost faith in their ability to end this abuse. In response, the FBU has taken the initiative to investigate the sector independently, unveiling its own comprehensive plan to combat discrimination, harassment, and bullying.

During the conference, Wrack detailed the union’s strategy, which involves creating its own set of reforms for the sector and a robust plan for their implementation. Additionally, a poster campaign aimed at changing the conversation around discrimination in the Fire and Rescue Service was unveiled.

“The public are right to be shocked at revelations in recent months,” said Wrack, while introducing the plan. He emphasised the need for the Fire Service to uphold its core values of respect, comradeship, and mutual support, given its standing as a well-respected, humanitarian profession.

Wrack further criticised the government and Chief Fire Officers for systematically failing to address equality issues over decades, especially since 2010, when central government curtailed its drive for equality and delegated control to local Chief Officers and politicians.

With a firm commitment to lead the drive for equality in the Fire and Rescue Service, Wrack declared: “Today, we are announcing our intention to lead the drive for equality in the Fire and Rescue Service. As the democratic union representing the overwhelming majority of the workforce, we are the only body capable of running an effective campaign.”

The Fire Brigades Union will launch its own set of equality standards and hold Fire Services accountable against them. Furthermore, the FBU aims to bring about direct change in the Fire Service’s behavior, as evidenced by the launch of a nationwide poster campaign in Fire Stations.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox