Bristol Women’s Voice meets Gambia Fire and Rescue Service

What an honour to meet Binta, Fatou, Neneh and Hawa from Gambia Fire & Rescue Service. Our co-chair Carole Johnson is a Champion/Trustee for Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership (GAFSIP), a partnership that has been supporting the development and resourcing of the Gambian Fire and Rescue Service for around 30 years.

Did you know that 25% of firefighters in the Gambia are women? A far greater gender balance than in the UK/across Europe. It was therefore proposed that the exchange candidates were all female in the hope that they will also provide encouragement to the women in the UK to apply to become Firefighters which would be fantastic as there remains a huge underrepresentation within the UK service.

Our Director, Katy, was delighted to join Carole in meeting with Marvin Rees, on 1pm, 25th July at City Hall and to be part of this valuable exchange that will help to enhance the service provided for the residents of Gambia.

The next day, Katy delivered a Misogyny and Sexual Harassment Awareness Training to the Avon Fire and Rescue Service senior leadership team. 

The training supported the male officers, in particular, to hear and reflect on the issues faced by many of their female colleagues and gave space for the group to collectively discuss how to create a more equality-positive workplace, as part of a larger programme of work the service is undertaking.

It was great to work with such an engaged group and the training was positively received;  we are looking forward to working more with the Avon Fire and Rescue Service in the area in future.

One participant said: “This can be a difficult topic which can lead to participants becoming defensive or not participating.

“This was not the case within this session, it was engaging and everyone seemed to get a lot from it”.  

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