Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has formally recognised its support of the Armed Forces by signing a pledge to treat service personnel and their families with fairness and respect.
On Thursday (February 1) the Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey welcomed Lieutenant Colonel John Hanson, from the Army’s 104 Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, to the service’s Wootton Hall headquarters to sign the Armed Forces Covenant.
The covenant recognises the service’s support for employees who serve in the Armed Forces as reservists, or those with a previous military career. It also acknowledges that Armed Forces personnel, veterans or their families should not be disadvantaged in any way compared to other citizens, and that in some circumstances special consideration may be appropriate, especially for those injured or bereaved.
Chief Fire Officer Dovey said: “We are proud to be a HM Forces-friendly organisation and have long welcomed those with links to the Armed Forces. Our fire service family already includes a number of military service leavers, Forces spouses and a reservist.
“Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is a diverse and vibrant place to work and we recognise and appreciate the many skills gained through a career in the Armed Forces. I’m proud to sign the Armed Forces Covenant to further our commitment to service personnel and their families.”
The covenant recognises the potential effects of serving in the Armed Forces on personnel, including injury and potential difficulty in integrating back into civilian life. It also acknowledges the effect on their families, who may have to regularly move home, which can affect access to healthcare and education. Relocating can also make it harder for partners to find jobs, get credit or mortgages.
John Wilson, the Ministry of Defence’s Regional Engagement Director in the East Midlands also attended the signing event. He said: “We are delighted that Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has publically pledged its support to the Armed Forces community.
“The fire service strives to deliver an efficient service to all members of the community both responsively and preventatively so it is great that the organisation also recognises the vast amount of transferable skills military personnel bring into the civilian workplace.
“Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has employed reservists, Service leavers and members of military families for a number of years and has been as flexible as possible to accommodate training and operational needs.”
To find out out the Armed Forces Covenant visit www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk