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Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service (BFRS) has received an award from the Ministry of Defence for the work it is doing to support the Armed Forces community.

Last year BFRS signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which is its pledge to recognise the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families can bring to the organisation.

It does this in a variety of ways, including supporting the employment of veterans of any age, and working with the Career Transition Pathway to advertise job opportunities.

Today (2 August) it was named as one of the 48 organisations in the South East to receive a silver award in the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme.

Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell said: “Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has always endeavoured to support those who have served, those who are currently serving, and all those connected with the Armed Forces. We strongly believe the experience they have gained provides key transferable knowledge, skills and disciplines that can be of huge value to us.”

As it now begins to work towards achieving gold status, BFRS will continue to:

  • Promote the fact that it is an Armed Forces friendly organisation.
  • Recognise relevant military qualifications in our recruitment/application processes.
  • Offering a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Armed Forces spouses and partners.
  • Support employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces, by accommodating their training and deployment where possible.
  • Offer support where possible to local cadet units, and encourage our staff to be cadet helpers or instructors.

On Thursday 12 March 2020, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service (BFRS) completed its first donation to Fire Aid, a UK-registered charity that provides ethical and sustainable donations of fire and rescue equipment and training to over 50 countries worldwide.

At its meeting on 12 February 2020, the Fire Authority approved a proposal for BFRS to donate end of life appliances via Fire Aid. You can read the paper that relates to this here.

Mark Hemming, Director of Finance and Assets, said: “This week we donated our first appliance to go overseas, which will be based and put to work in a project in the Ukraine. Given that on average over 4,000 people die each year on Ukraine’s roads, we are pleased to be able to support a project that focuses on enabling a quicker and more efficient response to road traffic incidents by local fire services.”

The vehicle has been allocated to the Scottish Emergency Rescue Association (SERA) who will be delivering it to the Ukraine as part of an ongoing project. You can find further information about Fire Aid’s work in the Ukraine on its website here.