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Our Health, Safety, and Environment team are pivotal in keeping our staff safe so they can perform their roles to help keep the communities across the Humber safe and well.

They provide much more than creating risk assessments and ensure Humberside Fire and Rescue Service complies with its legal duties, achieving its moral obligations to its employees and other people affected by its activities. They aim to drive continuous improvement beyond the minimum legal requirements and aspire to organisational excellence. They achieve this by making workplace health, safety, and welfare an integral part of doing business in every workplace and fundamental to every activity carried out within the Service.

The Health and Safety (H&S) and fire service are male-dominated industries, but here at Humberside Fire and Rescue (HFRS), we challenge this behaviour and unconsciously break this bias. According to an IOSH poll last year (2021), female H&S professionals accounted for 29.8% compared to 69.9% of male H&S professionals. We’re bucking this trend, and 45.5% of the team are female H&S professionals.

To encourage more underrepresented groups to join the fire service, we want to share some of their experiences and why they choose to work in H&S for an emergency service.

Let’s meet part of the team!

Emma top-left, Simona top-right, Rebecca bottom-left, Rachael bottom-right

Rebecca, Health, Safety and Environment Advisor

Rebecca has worked at HFRS for three years. After 12 years of teaching, she became self-employed; delivering training on health and safety management systems. After struggling with work-life balance and speaking with her family she decided to work towards a Nebosh Diploma before joining the team.

“HFRS has continued to empower me to make decisions based on my professional judgment and I am very grateful for all the opportunities provided to me and the support given to ensure success in my role.

Emma, Health, Safety and Environment Officer:

Emma has worked at HFRS for nearly 13 years. She entered the world of health and safety quite by accident when she was employed by HFRS as a temporary Health and Safety Administrator in 2009. As time went on, she grew more and more interested and was supported to progress further within the team.

“The support I received has continued through successive managers, during which time I have gone on to complete various courses including gaining a BSc Hons in Safety and Environmental Management. I am glad to have been able to repay the mentoring I received by doing the same for new team members that have joined after me.”

Simona, Health, Safety and Environment Advisor:

Simona joined HFRS in October 2017, initially starting in Central Training as an administrator. From this, she developed an interest in health and safety, where she worked extensively with the Health, Safety and Environment team. When the opportunity arose, she became a Health, Safety and Environment Administrator and hasn’t stopped progressing since.

“The support that I have received from my managers has been incredible and it has helped me grow both professionally and personally. I enjoy my role and love the challenges that come with ensuring we keep our workforce safe.

Rachael, Health, Safety and Environment Officer:

Rachael recently joined the Service a year ago in July. The timing was perfect as she was looking for a new challenge and a role in which she felt like she was making a difference after working as a health and safety consultant for almost four years.

“Whilst there can be challenges there can also be lots of benefits, starting my health and safety career in the extremely male dominated construction industry was both frustrating and extremely rewarding. In some cases, I’ve had to prove my capability and knowledge due to my gender and the perceived expectations, whilst this can be challenging it encouraged me and made me more determined to find ways to support and positively influence the workforce."