The Fire Brigades Union responds to recent media reports regarding recruitment processes:
Any suggestion that women and black and ethnic minorities are held to a different standard in the selection process to become firefighters is both patronising and insulting. It is important to emphatically state that all firefighters meet the same standards, Role Maps and standardised fitness tests, no matter of their gender or race.
For decades, women have served with distinction throughout the UK Fire and Rescue Service, being held to the same standards, tests and pass marks as male colleagues. The Fire Brigades Union has been fighting for decades to make our Fire & Rescue Services more inclusive and diverse, and this will and must continue.
National Firefighter Selection Tests were implemented in 2009 to promote a positive and accurate image of the role of a firefighter. It is not yet clear whether or not West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service adhered to these tests in their recruitment process. The FBU is seeking answers locally to ascertain the facts and will be closely monitoring the situation.
The FBU encourages all members to be respectful of colleagues, and to report any incident of bullying and harassment to local representatives.