Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, to formally pledge its support to members of the Armed Forces community.
The covenant recognises the Service’s commitment to ensure the fair treatment of all staff who have served, or will serve in the Armed Forces, and their families.
RBFRS welcomed a delegation of representatives from the military and Ministry of Defence to sign the covenant at a meeting of the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (RBFA) on Tuesday, 27 February.
The covenant contains a number of commitments, including supporting employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces, promoting the fact that we are an armed forces friendly organisation and working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to establish an employment pathway for people leaving the Armed Forces.
Councillor Colin Dudley, who signed the covenant on behalf of RBFA said: “I am greatly honoured to have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and affirm our commitment to supporting the Armed Forces Community. We look forward to welcoming more people to our Service who have either served or volunteer across the three Services of the Armed Forces.”
Kate Lole, South East Regional Engagement Director at the Ministry of Defence said: “Signing the Armed Forces Covenant demonstrates publically the pledge to support the Armed Forces Community including serving Personnel, Reservists, Veterans, spouses and Military families.”
“It also provides a solid foundation for continuing to develop a two-way partnership between Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue, the three Services - Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy; local Reserve Units and Cadets.”
A number of reservists and former Armed Services personnel already work within RBFRS, across a range of departments. Job vacancies in the Service are also already being advertised on a dedicated website for people leaving the Armed Forces, providing a career pathway for them into the fire service.
Trevor Ferguson, Chief Fire Officer at RBFRS said: “Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service employs people from a wide range of backgrounds to serve our communities. We recognise and appreciate the skills that staff serving in the Armed Forces have brought to us and look forward to further improving our links.”
RBFRS is also taking part in the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme which offers bronze, silver and gold certificates for organisations that demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces covenant. RBFRS has been awarded the bronze certificate and will be working towards the silver certificate.