We are building a workplace where people are supported in being their authentic selves, and our LGB role models are key in doing this. The more staff feel safe in being who they are, in feeling comfortable speaking truthfully about their life/family, and in knowing they are valued as part of #TeamSouthWales, the better we all become.

Lloyd Ketcher
Fire Control Operator
based at Fire Control, Bridgend

Hi. I’m Lloyd and have worked for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service for just over 12 years.

I work as a Crew Manager in the Joint Emergency Control, my current role is as Watch Manager based in the Systems Team, however, I also support the Emergency Room within Fire Control. The System’s team manages and administrates the Command and Control system which Fire Control use to log emergency calls and manage incidents. We ensure Risk information is accurate and up to date and is sent to our crews, as well as providing resilience to the Control Room.

Working for an organisation such as SWFRS you will feel fully supported if you identify as LGBT+. There are network groups within the organisation that you can reach out to. Throughout my career I have been supported by the service to attend events with Stonewall and Pride Cymru. This has given me the knowledge and confidence to become an LGBT+ role model and has helped me to support other colleagues.

I am also a member of the Fire Brigade Union LGBT section. This has been an invaluable support to me throughout my Career. I have attended National Schools all over the UK where Fire Fighters and Fire Control FBU members meet to learn about LGBT+ issues in the UK and overseas. I have also attended various Pride events over the country representing SWFRS and FBU.

 

 

 

____

Georgina Gilbert
Fire Fighter
stationed at Penarth 

My name is George, and I am a Fire Fighter (FF) stationed at Penarth fire station. I’ve been a FF in SWFRS for around 7 years now however I didn’t start my career in this brigade. I enrolled in Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service in 2000 and due to house moves and personal circumstances, I decided it was time to work closer to home . My decision to transfer to South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) is one that I’ve never regretted.

Upon my transfer to SWFRS I decided to be upfront with my sexuality as a gay woman, which is quite tough in a new environment with new colleagues. Now, I’m not one to just ‘tell’ people and I never expect people to ask assume or presume, after all, we don’t tend to ask people if they’re straight right?! Including this information into everyday conversation was the best decision I made. My colleagues absorbed the information like it was an everyday occurrence which, as you can imagine, was extremely comforting as I embarked on my new career in a different service.

Being a Fire Fighter requires you to be dynamic, sympathetic, brave, caring, strong, fit, emotional and a team player. Being ALL these things takes time, no one person is all these things straight away, some have to be learnt while other attributes come naturally but, it’s important that every Fire Fighter who wishes to be, well, awesome at their job needs to be open to learning new and exciting skills, including the list of emotions aforementioned. When I joined, I was strong and fit having come from an equine background, all these other things I had to learn, and quickly. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, the secret is knowing which ones to work on but most of all, you have to believe in yourself to achieve. When you get your first watch you learn that each individual has a part to play and is an integral part of a well-oiled machine – you soon learn what part you play, what you’re good at and what you need to work on!

If you’re looking for a job that will make you feel excited, proud, sometimes scared, invigorated, included, valued and a team player then you can stop looking, you’ve found it. How many jobs do you know which offer you firefighting, cutting cars, community safety, water rescue, boat handling, rope rescue and lots more, plus a career path to top it all off?