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.
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.
This website has the ability to have any of its pages translated into over 70 languages, a proportion of those are in a translated “read aloud”. Additionally, fire safety leaflets are downloadable from the website in other languages.
We also use social media advertising to reach black and minority ethnic communities with the aim of improving fire safety and accessibility of Kent Fire and Rescue Service and the 999 service.
In the workplace
At present less than 3 per cent 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 and 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. 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.
- The Authority's approach is set out in the Equality of Opportunity in Employment Policy.
- We have a competency based selection process which ensures we do not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. A trained human resources officer is involved in each stage of the recruitment process to ensure that our policy is followed.