Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has been recognised for its support to members of the Armed Forces community – by being awarded a silver award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.
The Service has graduated from the bronze status it was awarded back in 2019 and means that it has now demonstrated support for defence personnel – both past and present – who work within the organisation, as well as their families.
Signing up to the scheme ensures that the Service supports employees who choose to be members of the Reserve Forces by accommodating their training and deployment wherever possible, and will offer flexibility in granting leave before, during or after the deployment of either the employee or a spouse or partner.
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service sent its bid for silver status to the Ministry of Defence shortly after Chief Fire Officer Mark Jones and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold re-signed the Armed Forces Covenant on behalf of the Service back in January.
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme includes bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their support with the Armed Forces Covenant.
The Covenant is an acknowledgement from employers across the country that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Rob Porter said: “This silver status recognition from the Ministry of Defence reinforces how seriously we take our responsibility to support members of the Armed Forces community who work within our Service.
“We will continue to accommodate their training and deployment wherever possible and will offer flexibility in granting leave before, during or after the deployment of either the employee or a spouse or partner. It is also essential that we recognise those that are leaving the Armed Forces as potential candidates for this organisation and will provide assistance and support as far as is possible.
“It also shows the progress we are making in ensuring Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is a truly inclusive workforce – and hopefully this will help us as we bid to go one further and achieve the gold award in time.
“We have a number of employees who have proudly served or still serve in the Reserve Forces, and it is hugely important to us that they feel valued and are rightly recognised for the contributions and sacrifices both they and their families have made.”