Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service hosted a first of its kind gender outreach and empowerment workshop entitled 'In Confidence' at the Fire and Rescue Service Training Centre in Belfast on December 1.  


A number of high profile female key speakers shared their professional experience as a female in some of the most male dominated work places and encouragednetworking, education and professional development for female firefighters and support staff from NIFRS.   

Assistant Chief Officer Chris Kerr: said "We are delighted to have secured such high profile speakers including Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie OBE from the PSNI amongst others, who have all had tremendous success in their areas of expertise and I would like to thank them for their contribution to this unique event.  

"This workshop forms part of NIFRS contribution to the wider equality and diversity agenda. I have no doubt that the knowledge, experience and personal reflections of our key speakers relating to gender issues will make a significant contribution to encouraging confidence building through mentoring and personal development activities and will help assist our fire and rescue staff in NIFRS to realise their full potential in the workplace. 

"As an organisation we now have 22 wholetime female firefighters, 22 retained female firefighters, 37 female regional control centre personnel as well as 138 female support staff in our organisation. All our staff work for a proud organisation and work tirelessly to protect our community.   


"NIFRS is committed to developing its workforce whilst promoting equality and diversity. This event is the first in a series of events to provide a partnership approach to informal networking opportunities for female members of the Fire and Rescue Service with other agencies across the public, private and voluntary sectors."  


Photo:Video journalist Barbara McCann; Director of Women into Politics May De Silva; Assistant Chief Fire Officer Chris Kerr; PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie OBE; and PR Communications Manager at NI Hospice Claire Trainor. 




Posted December 2nd.