East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is celebrating after becoming the first ‘excellent’ Service in the South East and fourth in the country.
The Fire & Rescue Service Equality Framework recognises and addresses equality and diversity objectives that are a priority for the fire and rescue service.
Chief Fire Officer Des Prichard said: "This is fantastic news for East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service as well as the community that we serve. This official recognition shows just how hard members of staff have been working to mainstream equality and diversity in the work of ESFRS. As a public service we will continue to ensure that everybody receives fair and equal treatment at all times, challenge discrimination, and make everyone feel valued."
Chairman of East Sussex Fire Authority John Livings said: "I am very proud for East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service in achieving this national title which demonstrates a sound understanding of our staff and communities. I know our staff are committed to ensuring we understand the different needs across our local communities and continue to deliver an excellent service whilst recognising the diversity that is foundacross East Sussex and the City of Brighton & Hove."
The framework is based on three levels of achievement:-
There are five performance areas within the framework, all five of these performance areas need to be achieved within each of the three levels.
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service underwent a Peer Challenge and has been successful in being externally assessed as Excellent Level of the FRS Equality Framework, at this level we have shown particularly good practice in the following:-
· Strong leadership from senior officers and Members.
· Clearer, simpler and better communication with partners and communities.
· Improving internal customer satisfaction via HR Business Partners.
· Sophisticated community profiling to provide usable management information and intelligence.
· Working with young people.
· Competent and professional workforce who are proud of what they do.
· Sharing best practices with partners.
As a result of achieving Excellent, ESFRS will continue to be an exemplar on equalities issues across East Sussex and the City of Brighton & Hove and is working to an Improvement Plan to implement actions into the future.