ITN News statement

SWFRS response to ITN 12/12/22 from CFO Huw Jakeway

On behalf of the Service, I welcome the opportunity to apologise to those affected by these events and to anyone that our Service has let down.    

I am unable to go into the specifics of each case, but as a result of these complaints I will now initiate an independent review of our culture, our discipline processes and historic cases where our employees have failed to uphold our high standards.    

All matters of discipline are taken extremely seriously and are considered in line with the Service’s established disciplinary procedure, which follows best practice set by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). Disciplinary cases are fully investigated and decisions are reached by an impartial disciplinary panel, following consideration of the full facts of each case.    

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is a Gold standard Investor in People employer and we were proud to be the first Fire and Rescue Service in the world to be an accredited White Ribbon organisation. We will continue to work with White Ribbon to end abusive and misogynistic elements of male culture, to prevent violence against women and girls before it starts.  

We have been an active participant in the annual White Ribbon 16 days of action and often invite domestic abuse survivors to talk with our staff on this sensitive issue. This year we also declared our 47 fire and rescue stations as Safe Havens, where anyone in imminent danger can attend for help.  

We are working very hard to diversify our Service to be more representative of the communities we serve. We are proud that 7 out of 22 people who graduated as Wholetime Firefighters this month are women, which further demonstrates our commitment to inclusivity.    

I would encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses inappropriate behaviour from any member of the Service – whether you are an employee or member of the public – to report their concerns through the appropriate routes which include: notifying their line manager, making a disclosure under our whistleblowing procedure; raising a grievance; or through our complaints process.  I am committed to dealing with any actions that contravene our values and professional standards.      

Chief Fire Officer Huw Jakeway QFSM