"Fire and rescue services help and protect people from all walks of life and they should better reflect the diversity of the communities they serve."
Cllr Jeremy Hilton, Chair of the Local Government Association's Fire Services Management Committee, which represents all fire authorities in England and Wales, said:
"Fire and rescue services help and protect people from all walks of life and they should better reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.
"This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will ensure the fire and rescue service creates and maintains an inclusive culture that embraces difference, encourages recruitment of a diverse workforce and promotes the organisation as an employer of choice for all with every employee entitled to equal treatment. Working with a wide range of different organisations on this means there is a real shared ownership in making sure that progress is made.
"By making diversity a non-negotiable, with fire and rescue services encouraged to publish strategies, run leadership training and workshops on inclusiveness, share best practice, and monitor applications and recruitment at a national level, the MoU will commit the service to ensure it is a place of opportunity for everyone."