Royal Berkshire Fire Authority sign-up to the Blue Light Time to Change pledge

Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (RBFA) signed up to the Blue Light Time to Change pledge, confirming our commitment to contribute to a broader safety, health and wellbeing agenda.

On 19 October 2016, RBFA’s commitment was formalised by the signing of the Blue Light Time to Change pledge by Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer, Andy Fry and Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Councillor Colin Dudley. The pledge focuses on promoting a better understanding of mental health problems while offering support and wellbeing advice to staff and volunteers.

RBFA became the latest organisation to join the growing number of emergency service employers and associations showing their commitment to ending mental health stigma and discrimination in the workplace.

Chief Fire Officer, Andy Fry, said: “I am delighted to be signing the Blue Light Time to Change pledge, demonstrating our commitment to tackling mental health stigma. We support our staff through training, positive mental health initiatives and safety and wellbeing mechanisms. The pledge offers us a great opportunity to work with Mind and other emergency services to reduce the stigma attached to mental health.”

Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Councillor Colin Dudley, said: We are strongly in favour of collaboration and the fire service in Berkshire already works closely with partners from the other blue light services on a number of different initiatives. This pledge will further enable Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service to demonstrate their commitment to tackling mental health stigma.”

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “Not only are many of our blue light personnel struggling with their mental health, but they’re less likely to seek support or have time off sick than the general workforce. Good mental health should be a priority in any workplace but it is especially important that people exposed to traumatic or life-threatening situations – such as those working within the police, ambulance, fire and search and rescue services – receive appropriate support. By signing the Blue Light Time to Change pledge, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority is helping to fight stigma and promote positive mental health in emergency services.”