South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is looking at the report revealing discrimination within the London Fire Brigade to see what they can learn from it.
Chris Kirby, Chief Fire Officer of the South Yorkshire Brigade, said that the service has “clear policies in place on bullying, harassment and discrimination” but are looking to improve their policies to further combat these issues in the workplace.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue have responded with reassurance for the local community after publication of the report on the culture within London Fire Brigade.
They have criticised the London Brigade, saying “there is absolutely no place for the negative behaviour and attitudes described in the report”.
The Independent Culture Review revealed that the Brigade has a problem with racism and struggles with a culture of bullying, even getting so bad as to cause someone to be diagnosed with PTSD.
It also detailed an incident where a black firefighter discovered a noose hung above his locker, and another occasion where a Muslim firefighter had sausages and bacon placed into his coat pockets and then had a terrorist hotline sign placed on his locker.
Minority groups, including women, disabled people and LGBTQ+ members of the team do “less well” in their careers at the London Fire Brigade.
The review was commissioned by the London Fire Brigade after firefighter Jaden Matthew Francois-Esprit took his own life in 2020, reportedly due to racial abuse at work.
Fire commissioner, Andy Roe, says he is taking on the 23 recommendations set out in the report and will test providing staff with body cameras for home fire visits after complaints of misconduct from the public.
Commissioner Roe said: “Anyone accused of discrimination, harassment and bullying will be immediately suspended and dismissed if the accusation is upheld”.
Additionally, all complaint cases from the past five years are being reviewed to ensure they were dealt with appropriately.
The report concludes by saying “The exposure of prejudice in the workplace at one of the world’s largest firefighting and rescue organisations should put other brigades on notice” and goes on to imply that other fire brigades likely have similar issues.
The full Culture Review can be found here