East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

All welcome at the fire service!

Date : 07 May 2021

Positive Action

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is restating its commitment to being open to all as we launch a major recruitment drive this Summer.

We are taking positive action to help encourage recruitment from under-represented groups, as part of our commitment to be an inclusive, welcoming environment for employees, the communities it serves and partners.

Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whittaker said: “With plans to recruit new full time and on call firefighters this summer, and the recent approval of our new People Strategy, it’s right that we make sure everyone understands what we mean when we talk about positive action. 

Positive action is about targeting under-represented groups to encourage applications from as wide a range of people as possible. It will include talks, a chance to ‘have a go’ and find out more about the role, but once applications are made the process to recruitment is identical for all; same standards, same levels of fitness, same aptitude tests, and at the end of the recruitment the best applicants will be offered posts, irrespective of their gender, race, religion and other protected characteristics. I firmly believe that unless we do our very best to get everyone to consider a role in the fire and rescue service then we can’t be sure we are choosing the very best to serve our community.”

What we’re doing:

  • Rolling out targeted advertising of jobs. 
  • Using positive action statements in recruitment adverts, for example, stating that the employer welcomes applications from a particular group where we are underrepresented.
  • Taking part in career fairs.
  • Holding open days.    

Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whittaker added: “We are always striving to better represent our communities. For us, this means increasing the number of firefighters who are women, who are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and from LGBT+ groups. We will spend the coming weeks finding new ways to make sure everyone knows we are looking for the right people to join us.”

Becoming a firefighter

Our firefighters play a vital role in making our communities safer - not only by responding to emergencies but by preventing them in the first place.

We have close ties with the communities we serve, going into homes, schools and businesses to educate them and help keep them safe. 

“Being a firefighter – is it for you?”

Not sure if becoming a firefighter is for you?

We are hosting online sessions for people interested in learning about being a firefighter who may not yet have considered this career.

During the sessions, you will have the opportunity to: 

  • Hear experiences of firefighters and ask questions
  • Find out about working at ESFRS


We are hosting an online session that anyone can join, however, we also recognise through our workforce data that people who identify as women, LGBT+ and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in our service in the Firefighter role. 

For that reason, we are running community sessions where these groups can find out more about the role and hear from our staff networks.

Session dates:

  • Ethnic Minorities Career Event  - Tuesday 11th May (7 pm – 8 pm)
  • Women’s Career Event  - Wednesday 12th May( 7 pm – 8 pm)
  • Career Event Thursday 13th May (7pm- 8pm) (open for all)
  • LGBT+ Career Event  - Tuesday 18th May  (7pm – 8pm)  

Find out how to book onto the events here: https://www.esfrs.org/about-us/inclusion-diversity/our-commitment-to-positive-action/


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