AFSA award for Beds Fire Image: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service collected second place in the Asian Fire Service Association‘s national award for excellence in board leadership in equality, diversity and inclusion at the national annual conference awards held on 13 June.

The accolade was for demonstrating strategic and operational awareness and understanding of how to challenge, promote and advance equality, diversity and inclusion at senior levels of the organisation and in doing so, stimulating change, demonstrating visionary leadership, capacity, capability and a strong commitment to making things happen.

Deputy chief fire officer Andrew Hopkinson collected the award with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority’s new chair, Cllr John Chatterley. It was presented by footballing legend John Barnes.

DCFO Hopkinson said:

“This national accolade reflects that not only do we do the basics when it comes to championing diversity, but we really go above and beyond, from the frontline to the board room.

“It recognises our continued efforts to be an employer of choice and is testament to the excellent efforts of our staff.”

The Service has run a number of internal initiatives, including launching an inclusion forum for staff, alongside running a marketing campaign to ensure the role of a firefighter can be understood and accessed by those from underrepresented groups.

It has also completed an accessibility review of all its properties in a bid to make improvements for those who use its estate.

First place went to Kent Fire and Rescue Service.