1. #1
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    Default Positive Action/Discrimination in Firefighter recruitment

    Taken from the UK Fire Service Forum...please feel free to discuss here

    Positive Action is used in the UK Fire Service to encourage Men from Visible Minorities and Women to join.

    In London this takes the form of Road shows and open days at festivals such as Notting Hill carnival, The Cosmopolitan show etc. It's basically about taking the 'You can join the Fire Service' message to the whole of the community.

    This has been particularly sucessful with Male Afro Carribean applicants, who once they realise they are able to join the Fire Service tend to go for it.

    Despite the old rumours about help and so on, the only help available is to Women and that is in the form of fitness clinics. These are available for Women who may be interested but not those going through the application process.

    Basically in London, there is help available to Women and open days and recruitment campaigns are aimed at under represented groups. From the point that an individual takes an application form, they are on their own. i.e if after that they need help they cannot have it. Any help after an introduction to the service would be 'Positive Discrimination' Which is illegal.

    I have no problem with this in principal, but have had the debate with those in outreach stating it's fine to go to certain areas to attract visible minorities but what about women....if they wany women from ANY Background then they need do no more than take an open day to Romford, Brent Cross, Bromley & Kingston Shopping Centres on a saturday (Major Outer London Shopping Malls)....that way instead of targeting a few hundred women they will target tens of thousands.

    They agreed, how could they not...although I am wholeheartedly behind all of the principals to make the job available to all groups, I still think it is being driven by mainly left wing political thinking....the shopping centre analogy is a fine example.... they are full of women of a saturday of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities. They may get a lot of interest from suburban women who want to do the job. But do they see the average White suburban woman with the same contempt as they see the average White suburban male (the type the Fire Brigade is full of).

    i.e Would they want my sister, my cousin or my neighbour who has similar views to me or would they want a 'loony left' Commune dwelling person more typically fond in the inner Boroughs who would 'challenge' the 'traditional thinking' of the Fire Service????? It makes me wonder....after all, if you were selling a product to Women you would surely go to the place where lots of women from a wide scope went...shopping centres of a saturday. To take these road shows anywhere else makes me a little suspicious.

    To finish on a positive note, Control (Dispatch) is primarily a female workforce, in a recent advertising campaign Outreach group aimed there advertising toward men, so it does go both ways.


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    Last edited by SteveDude; 12-06-2004 at 06:30 AM.
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    Stve.. this happens here as well. The last two or three statewide firefighter entrance exams were rescheduled to occur a month later than the original posted exam date "due to the lack of minority candidates" applying.

    The PC crowd does not understand that you can't force anyone to take the job. If they want to be a firefighter, then they will get up off their arse and inquire about becoming a firefighter.

    Do you want to work with someone who really wants the job or was coerced into taking the exam to fill a quota?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Steve

    I have worked at some of these events and they are basically all over London where invitations are given to. They are no different to days that other services have been running for years including the armed forces and police.

    They are very informative and show people that they maybe suitable for a very good career.The sad thing is there are many talented people out there that say they would love to do our occupation but they thought they would not be suitable or even accepted.

    Breaking down theese barriers is important for our service.

    Application forms are not given out anymore at such events and anyone applying has to pass the same entrance test and application process as everyone else who joins the service.

    Unfortunately sometimes with initiatives there is more rumour than truth that goes around stations.

    If there is an area that needs looking into it is the type, quality and the amount of training everyone receives once they join. At present it is totally inadequate.

    Cheers

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    WHile badly run Affirmitve Action programs can be not only unfair, but dangerous. Well run programs that focus on recruitment rather then lowering of standards can be very positive.

    But before knocking Affirmative Action, you also have to knock down nepotism, which while lowered under civil service laws, still exists strongly in the fire/rescue services and the world in general.
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    Patrick, maybe you should look up my posts in defense of this on the UK FS Forum...Link here

    Your reply seems to suggest I am against this type of action. I am saying on that post, like I said to the Outreach people last week.....Why go to a show with only 2,000 women when a day at a shopping centre will expose the Briagde to 50,000 Women???

    You can check this out with them I have nothing to hide here....
    I made the post here to open up the debate among our US Brothers and Sisters as it has attracted quiet a reponse on the UK site.

    You may have to join at www.fireservice.co.uk to view the topic.
    Last edited by SteveDude; 12-06-2004 at 11:38 AM.
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    Outreach is great and should be encouraged, but once that has been done you should look to hire those that all reach the same equal qualifications before you even think about giveing preferential treatment to any particular group in setting those qualifications.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Dennis,
    This is what happens in the UK Fire Service. If any individual or group is given an advantage then they (The Fire Dept) are positively discriminating which as stated is illegal over here.

    Recently a group of White Males Firefighter applicants sucessfully sued Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service for discrimination against them in favour of Women applicants.

    There are planty of faults with the UK Fire Service...too much political interference, bad equipment & procedures, bad pay, now they are altering our pensions....although I am proud to say after some of the 'hysteria' surrounding Politically correct recruitment in the mid 80's that the Fire Service is beginning to get it right in attracting a good cross section of the diverse communityies we serve.
    Steve Dude
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    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

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    Originally posted by SteveDude
    Dennis,
    This is what happens in the UK Fire Service. If any individual or group is given an advantage then they (The Fire Dept) are positively discriminating which as stated is illegal over here.

    Recently a group of White Males Firefighter applicants sucessfully sued Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service for discrimination against them in favour of Women applicants.

    There are planty of faults with the UK Fire Service...too much political interference, bad equipment & procedures, bad pay, now they are altering our pensions....although I am proud to say after some of the 'hysteria' surrounding Politically correct recruitment in the mid 80's that the Fire Service is beginning to get it right in attracting a good cross section of the diverse communityies we serve.
    SOunds good. It is always a challange to find balance in what ever you do. And having an effective work force that also reflects the community that you serve is no different. I wish you all luck, we need it here in a lot of places too.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    I must apologise Steve if I gave the impression, but it certainly was not the case. I was only trying to highlight this issue from a different angle and my own personal view. I have read the links on uk fire for a while and and am disapointed at the negativity towards so many things. I suppose some parts are understandable considering what we are going through within the service at present and the rumours that can be created.

    These initiatives work well if they are run well. At times that has not been the case but then what has been run well in our service of late.

    Now they are very organised and make a huge difference within the communites and show our service again in a very good manner.

    I understand your point about venues and maximising the benefits. But sometimes the place with the most people is not always the place to get the best results.

    Cheers

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    The captain said it the best.
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    I agree with the Guv'nor (Chief or whatever the US term is SteveD ) there needs to be a policy of fair recruitment for everyone. I joined in 1994 and there were a few women in my training Squad. They all passed every single element that we did.

    I would be P***ed off if they lowered standards to allow people in, we work in one of the biggest busiest cities in the world....we don't have the time to carry people. I will go into a job with anyone...as long as they are a properly trained, safe Firefighter....colour and gender don't mean a thing

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