To coincide with International Women’s Day (Sunday 8 March), Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) has announced two ‘Have a Go’ events aimed at encouraging more women to consider a career within the Service. The events will be run at Whitley Wood Training Centre in April and June 2020.
Each event will include a tour of the fire station, and an opportunity to try physical and written tests similar to those they would need to perform during the recruitment and training process. RBFRS’ current firefighters and fitness advisors will also all be on hand to offer advice and support, including some of the Service’s current female firefighters, keen to give real insight into the role.
Felicity Screen is a Firefighter based at Slough Fire Station. She explains: “I have always wanted to be a firefighter, and after I left the Army, I began my training. I have two children and find because our shift pattern is set out in advance, I am able to organise my family life around it. There are sometimes preconceptions that being a female firefighter with a family makes it harder – that isn’t true. My children love that I am a firefighter, and they are extremely proud.”
Nikki Richards, Director of Support Services at RBFRS said: “We are committed to making a positive difference in the communities we serve, part of which is ensuring we create a culture of inclusion which attracts the best candidates.
“Whether it’s firefighting roles, fire safety or one of the many roles we have within our departments, women will continue to make a vital contribution to the services we deliver. We want to encourage even more women to consider a career with the fire and rescue service as a place where they can excel.”
RBFRS recently launched a recruitment campaign; ‘One Team For Berkshire’, aimed at giving prospective applicants real insight into what it takes to work for a modern fire and rescue service. There isn’t one stereotypical team member and RFBRS welcomes people from all backgrounds to apply. The wider campaign highlights the diversity of both people and roles within the Service, who all have the shared goal of serving the people of Royal Berkshire.
On-call firefighter Ashley Major joined RBFRS after taking part in several of last year’s ‘Have a Go’ events at Whitley Wood Training Centre. She commented: “These events really helped to highlight the areas that I needed to work on to succeed. It was great to be able to meet other female firefighters, it pushed me to work harder on my fitness. Everyone at the events were so friendly and encouraging.
“I never expected to be capable of joining the Fire Service, and now I’m part of an amazing crew at Hungerford. If you’re thinking of applying, go for it! It’s one of the best things I ever did.”
The dates of the Have a Go events are as follows:
- ·4 April 2020, Whitley Wood Training Centre, Reading – THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED.
- ·27 June 2020, Whitley Wood Training Centre, Reading
To register your interest, please email your name and the date you wish to attend to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each event has a maximum capacity, and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.