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Positive Reaction To Action
An approach by our Service to encourage people from diverse and under-represented backgrounds and wider backgrounds to consider a future job as a potential firefighter has received a national award.
This year, our Positive Action has seen staff visiting events including Africa Oye, Liverpool Pride, Brouhaha and the Race for Life at Aintree, Sefton Park and at Birkenhead to encourage people from a wider background to consider becoming a firefighter in the future. It is all part of the Service’s Positive Action approach.
In recognition of this work, the Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA) presented an award to Group Manager Guy Keen who received it on behalf of the Positive Action Team.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “At Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, we are absolutely committed to equality and diversity both within the organisation and within the services we provide to our local communities.
“Through Positive Action we encourage applications from under-represented groups and we are proud to pursue a policy which breaks down stereotypes and perceptions in an attempt to achieve this. Positive Action applies for Firefighter roles protected by the characteristics in the Equality Act 2010.”
The protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
Positive Action is a legal term which refers to a number of methods designed to counteract the effects of past discrimination and to help abolish stereotyping. Employers are allowed by law to take Positive Action to help redress any imbalances that may have arisen as a result of past discrimination or disadvantage. The aim of Positive Action is to ensure people from previously excluded groups have the opportunity to compete on equal terms with other participants.
The Deputy Chief Fire Officer said: “The nature of our role means that we interact with people from different backgrounds every day. It is important that we understand and are sensitive to individuals' differences so we can provide the most responsive Fire and Rescue Service we can. To do this,
we aim to employ a representative workforce that reflects the communities we serve.”
Photos: Chris Phillips and Karl Mansfield.
Two firefighters have completed a gruelling event in Delamere Forest in Cheshire to
raise funds for The Fire Fighters Charity.
Watch Manager Chris Howarth and Firefighter Russ Hardman, both part of
Blue Watch at Huyton
Community Fire Station, along with Alan Knell, regional fundraising officer for the North West for The Fire Fighters Charity, took part in this
year’s Brooks HellRunner Hell Up North trail running event in November.
Watch Manager Chris Howarth said: “I would like to pass on our thanks to everybody who supported us and donated to
The Fire Fighters Charity. We have now tallied all of the donations together and I am happy to say that we raised £1001. It was a tough event but raising this amount has made all the hard work, well worth the effort.
“The run covered twelve miles and consisted of water crossings, very, very thick mud throughout the route and climbing up and down several very steep hills. You also had to go through smelly bogs and woodland paths and there were other obstacles throughout the course to overcome.
“Although Russ and myself have not required the services and help the charity offers, we have several friends and colleagues throughout MF&RS who have benefited from the excellent work they offer for firefighters and their families.”
More information on The Fire Fighters Charity can be found at: and the charity’s services can be accessed through calling 0800 389 8820.
Watch Manager Chris Howarth, on the left, and Firefighter Russ Hardman at the HellRunner event. Photo supplied by Watch Manager Chris Howarth.

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