Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) has been awarded the Gold Award in the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme, in recognition of its commitment to supporting the Armed Forces.
The Service signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which aims to formalise the commitment of organisations across the country to supporting members of the Armed Forces, in 2018. Since then, it has continually strived to find more ways to support both serving members of the Armed Forces and veterans.
The conditions for the Gold Award are:
Demonstrate support by receiving an ERS Silver Award.
Proactively demonstrate forces-friendly credentials as part of the recruiting and selection processes and with Career Transition Partnership (CTP) in the recruitment of service leavers.
Employ at least one individual from the armed forces community.
Actively ensure that the workforce is aware of the positive policies towards defence people issues.
Be an exemplar within the market sector, advocating support to defence people issues to partner organisations, suppliers and customers with tangible positive results.
Councillor Colin Dudley, Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “This Gold Award is a testament to our support for the Armed Forces, but this is not the end of the Service’s commitment to those who have served or are serving their country. We will continue to look for ways to strengthen our relationship with the Armed Forces over the coming years.”
Throughout the past three years, the Service has strengthened their relationship with the Career Transition Partnership, which helps leaving members of the Armed Forces to find employment. The Service has supported and hosted career insight days in conjunction with Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance Service, which aims to give an insight into working for the emergency services and give attendees the opportunity to talk with members of the Service who have also joined the Service after serving in the Armed Forces.
The Service also has an excellent relationship with local Armed Forces and has supported the Open Health Day at Combermere Barracks, taking part in demonstrations and giving advice about career opportunities after leaving the Armed Forces.
Councillor Angus Ross, Armed Forces Champion for Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “As someone who served in our Armed Forces, I have enjoyed supporting the impressive efforts the Service has made, culminating in receiving the Gold Award in recognition of their work supporting the Armed Forces. This is a continuous journey for us and I look forward to working with RBFRS, the Career Transition Partnership and the Armed Forces to continue to provide support to those who are or have been members of the Armed Forces.”
Nikki Richards, Director of Support Services, said: “This Award solidifies our commitment to over 30 members of staff who have joined our team from the Armed Forces or who are still serving. We are delighted that our commitment has been recognised through the Armed Forces Gold Award and we very much look forward to continuing to support our existing and potential members of staff.”