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Our recruitment processes

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Following recent media reports, we emphatically reject unsubstantiated claims that our recruitment of the best firefighters for the West Midlands is discriminatory.

We always have high numbers of people wanting to join us as firefighters. This enables us to apply a high pass mark to attract the best candidates. All of our new entrants have attained high levels of performance and should be proud of their skills and ability.

When appropriate we can select people from groups that are under-represented in our workforce. We do this with application of contemporary legislation (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/159)

We are committed to a having a workforce that reflects the diversity of our communities, and one that is welcoming to all. We are proud of our recruitment and selection processes. We work hard to break down barriers faced by people within our local community who could bring so much to our service and to their community as firefighters.

In our strategic plan, which is available to read on our website www.wmfs.net, we clearly state: ‘Through an approach known as ‘positive action’ we will attract, recruit and support progression for individuals with protected characteristics’.

Our work to attract more firefighters who are women or from minority backgrounds has been praised by the Government. We are ranked 2nd in the latest Top 50 UK Employers List, recognising our commitment to workplace diversity.

The National Fire Chiefs Council has given its support to us taking positive action in regard to employing a diverse workforce.

Ann Millington, Chair of NFCC’s Workforce Coordination Committee, said: “NFCC is supportive of fire services using positive action in certain circumstances. Currently there is a government drive to increase diversity across the fire service, which NFCC has helped to develop.

“Nationally, 5.2% of firefighters in England are women and 3.9% are from an ethnic minority background (BAME). This is not reflective of the communities fire services represent. We want to create a service which is accessible to all, regardless of gender, background and ethnicity.

“While we are seeing numbers from under-represented groups increase, it is essential that work underway continuously builds on this to develop a representative fire service.”

Close up of two kitchen cookers or appliances next to each other

It’s totally free and could save your life!

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We’re supporting ‘Register My Appliance Day’ (24 Jan) by urging people in the West Midlands to sign up for vital product safety info.

Close up of two kitchen cookers or appliances next to each other

It only takes a few minutes and, by paying a quick visit to www.registermyappliance.org.uk, you can make it easy for manufacturers to contact you if there’s a safety issue with your large household appliances.

Our own website, wmfs.net, also has a NEW register product section where we’ve listed many of the UK’s major makers of appliances and electronics plus links to their product registration pages.

Whether it’s a new fridge or mobile, dishwasher or games console, it’s important that you register your goods. Sometimes manufacturers need to tell consumers about safety issues – but if you don’t register your contact details, how else will they reach you?

‘Register My Appliance’ is a safety initiative by AMDEA, the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances, designed to help appliance owners register their details directly with dozens of leading brands.

You can even register some appliances that are more than a decade old.

Pete Wilson, our Head of Community Safety, said: “Two thirds of people have never registered an older appliance that they may have bought a couple of years ago, found in their homes when they moved in, or bought second-hand.

“We know that appliances are kept for many years and very few people realise they can register older ones. These are the products that are most difficult to trace if a safety repair is needed and only their current owners can let manufacturers know that they have them.”

In a small number of cases, manufacturers may identify problems with a product model once it has been in use for some time. A quick in-home fix by a qualified technician will usually remove any risk, but it can be very difficult to trace owners who haven’t registered their details.

Logo for https://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/
A photograph of Esme

Esme helped us go viral!

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A 19-second video tweeted via @WestMidsFire has gone viral – helping to prove to girls around the world that they can be firefighters.

We recorded the video on mobile phones after Hannah Summers tweeted that her young daughter thought only men could be firefighters.

In just three days it reached the Twitter accounts of 2.3m people and had been watched by more than 1.1m!

Some of our female firefighters sprung into action after hearing that four-year-old Esme said she wished she was a boy so she could be a ‘fireman’.

Their message – “We’re firefighters and we’re girls!” – has since been echoing around the globe.

Under the hashtag #FirefightingSexism, fire and rescue colleagues world-wide have joined the response.

WMFS Station Commander Marc Hudson said: “We wanted to let Esme know: of course you can be a firefighter! And it was a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of firefighting as a career for women.”

Last year we were ranked the country’s second most inclusive employer by the Inclusive Companies’ Awards.

“We’ve come a long way but we’re still determined to encourage more women and people from a mix of backgrounds into the fire and rescue service,” added Marc.

And, while it might be a few years too early for Esme to choose her own career, that didn’t stop her drawing this ‘thank you’ picture’ of herself… as a firefighter!

a drawing of a firefighter by EsmeIf you’re interested in joining us as a firefighter, please check out our careers pages.

Some of the great social media responses

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