The Fire Brigades Union said today (3 June) that it was “very proud” of its National Gay and Lesbian Committee, which last week won first place in the Fire and Rescue Service Equality and Diversity Awards.
The awards, presented by the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG), the Chief Fire Officers Association and the Local Government Association, were announced at a Conference hosted by CLG to mark the launch of the Fire and Rescue Services Equality and Diversity Strategy for 2008 to 2018.
The top award for outstanding achievement in leadership went to the FBU Gay and Lesbian Committee, and was accepted on behalf of the committee by Stewart Brown, FBU executive member; Yannick Dubois, chair of the committee, and Pat Carberry, its secretary.
National Officer John McGhee said: “The union is very proud of its Lesbian and Gay Committee, and all the work it does to help make the fire and rescue service more representative of the community it protects, and a more welcoming place for gay and lesbian people to work in.”
Committee secretary Pat Carberry said: “This award is a great achievement for the FBU. Although this is an award presented to three individuals, it is in recognition of the work performed by all members of the committee, both those in office and those who have served on the committee. Also it recognises the officials and members who have supported the committee in the work they do.
“It sends out a clear message that equality and diversity in the Fire and Rescue Service is not restricted to race and gender issues. Our service recognises that homophobia is an issue that will not be ignored and that those involved in challenging the abusers and representing and supporting the victims deserve full recognition.”
“The Thematic Review into Fairness and Equality in the Fire service in 1999 recognised that the FBU was the only organisation positively working to address the issues. Almost a decade on the FBU sections continue to lead the way on these issues.”