County’s fire service ‘needs to do more’ to recruit women


- Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has more work to do to recruit women and minority groups into its vacant firefighter roles.

That is the view of assistant chief fire officer Rick Hylton who called for a clearer plan on to how attract people into joining the organisation.

“The first thing we need to do is rebrand and realise that the skills [needed to join the service] are very different to 20 or 30 years ago.

Something we need to tap into for people to see firefighting as a career,” said Mr Hylton.

A report handed to members of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority on February 9 stated that out of the 490 full-time and on-call firefighters, only 26 are women – a total of 5.3 per cent.

It was also revealed that 96.9 per cent of the service’s firefighters are white, and only three per cent are from a minority group.

Cambridgeshire County Council member, Councillor Lucy Nethsingha suggested that the service work with schools more closely to showcase career opportunities.

Most Read

Authority member Councillor David Over also called for the service to work with other authorities to learn how to attract minority groups.

“I think that will help us learn from those who are doing well and those who

have got more to do,” Mr Hylton said.

Following a push, however, by the service, Mr Hylton said in 2016/17 29 per cent of new full-time firefighters were women, and a further 11 per cent of on-call recruits.