FEU Statement:

Inclusiveness is a fundamental value for fire and rescue services.

Federation of the EUropean Fire Officers held a seminar on “Diversity, equality and inclusiveness in fire and rescue services” at our FEU Council meeting in Helsinki that raised many important aspects and contained numerous good, future-oriented proposals on the topic at hand. Federation of the EUropean Fire Officers wants to state that diversity, equality and inclusiveness are core values that show their importance especially in times of turmoil and when it requires active efforts.

Federation of the EUropean Fire Officers states its full commitment to diversity, equality and inclusiveness. Authorities have higher ethical standards in societies, and fire and rescue services are no exception. Fire and rescue services should have zero tolerance to harassment and misbehaviour and proactively promote diversity. The authorities should represent the societies they serve.

Diversity, equality and inclusiveness have taken steps forward. But we constantly need to thrive for better and set an example. Federation of the EUropean Fire Officers regards it essential that we don’t commit only to values of diversity, equality and inclusiveness but also to actions that follow. Examples of actions to take are active recruitment efforts towards diversity on all organisational levels, modern leadership thinking and practices and creating safe space for everyone. It is also important to build support groups within organisations.

Federation of the EUropean Fire Officers encourages its member organisations to implement these values and to put them into practice also in FEU context. We need to increase our efforts and will keep the focus on the topic when we organize a European diversity conference in April 2023 to support the specific efforts throughout European Fire and Rescue Services.

What is needed to enhance diversity, equality and inclusiveness on national and organisational level, varies from country and organisation to another. Nevertheless every organisation needs policies and plans. That way concrete actions are fitted to needs of the organisations. The best solutions come from within and build a sense of commitment and ownership to chosen actions. Our dream is that values of diversity, equality and inclusiveness will no longer be debatable topics, and today’s topical human rights issues will be widely adopted and accepted in the future.