In the community
While the majority religion in Kent and Medway is Christianity, there are areas where the proportion of people with other faiths is significant.
We have established a close relationship with different faith groups and work has been done to identify potential risk factors.
We have provided diversity training to managers and operational staff, including guidance on the importance of respecting the beliefs and traditions of faith groups. Examples of this include awareness of death or near-death rituals when dealing with fatalities or casualties with life-threatening injuries, the need to demonstrate respect for holy books and other important of religious artefacts, and to be aware of cultural and religious differences when dealing with members of the opposite sex.
We have recruited a number of community liaison officers with specialist knowledge in particular minority faith groups. This has substantially improved engagement and our understanding of faiths such as Sikhism and Hinduism.
In the workforce
The vast majority of our staff are either Christian, have no faith or have not stated their belief. There are no other faiths that make up more than 1 per cent of our workforce. However, we recognise the importance of religion and beliefs to individuals.
Our Equality of Opportunity in Employment Policy covers religion and belief and we have issued staff and management guidance on prayer breaks and religious observance.
When we do recruit we encourage applications from ethnic minority groups an example is our 2016/17 on-call firefighter recruitment campaign which has used social media advertising to target those who are under-represented in the service.