DCFO Phil Loach received the AFSA Award for Leadership in Equality and Diversity at the organisation’s fifth international annual conference, held in Manchester. The Personal Fair Diverse Awards recognise individuals within public sector services who personally adopt the principles to make a difference in the lives of others.
The award is presented every year and recognises exceptional fire and rescue service leadership in equality, diversity and inclusion. It also acknowledges the recipient’s personal influence as a leader in enabling others to recognise and fulfil their own potential.
The nomination was supported by a number of employees who have benefited from DCFO Loach’s mentoring and coaching, and his approach to promoting positive action as a leader.
Umar Zamman, Chairman of AFSA said: “Phil has played a significant part in helping to establish equality, diversity and inclusion as central to the brigade’s internal culture and its community relationships. His personal commitment and support have had a huge impact throughout the organisation.”
DCFO Loach said: "I’m flattered and very grateful to have been recognised in this way by AFSA. West Midlands Fire Service is committed to championing equality and diversity among our own staff, and in our daily work among our diverse communities and more vulnerable ‘at risk’ residents.
“We are on a continuous journey towards excellence. Maintaining equality and recognising diversity are important elements of our prevention, protection and response work.”
The brigade’s equality and diversity objectives for 2012-15 can be viewed in the publications section of its website (www.wmfs.net). Its ‘E&D’ performance is closely monitored by the Scrutiny Committee of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority.
WMFS has recently launched its ‘Reaching for the Stars’ initiative. It is a ‘positive action’ course designed to support and develop employees, specifically targeting those from under-represented groups. It is complemented by a scheme which involves participants being mentored by managers and supervisors who have volunteered to act as ‘buddies’