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Race and ethnicity

We take a proactive approach to identifying risk factors relating to race and ethnicity, to meet the needs of people of all groups in the community and to prevent discrimination in the workplace.

In the community

While the majority of the population of Kent and Medway are white British, there are also communities with significant numbers from other races and ethnic groups. We have included race and ethnicity in our community profile which identifies these groups and any associated risks which have been identified.

Through our research we found those from certain ethnic groups are less likely to engage with the fire service and therefore potentially have less access to the safety information we provide. We therefore recruited a number of community liaison officers from ethnic minority groups to engage with these communities and promote fire and road safety messages. This has substantially improved relationships and our understanding of various ethnic groups including Polish, Chinese, Nepalese and Indian communities.

When we respond to incidents it is important that our firefighters can communicate with people they are rescuing, which could be an issue for those that do not speak English. We have therefore provided all of our operational crews with a language card and access to a translation service. Additionally, important safety information is available on our website in other languages.

Examples of other initiatives:

 

In the workplace

At present less than 3% of our workforce have declared themselves from an ethnic minority group (not White British). This is lower than the percentage of people from these groups in Kent & Medway. We want to ensure that our workforce more accurately reflects the communities we serve but our staff turnover is very low so it will take time to change the profile.

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Values: As an organisation we will always put people first