Chief Fire Officer responds to ITN

“I'm disappointed and sorry to hear about the experiences of past and present colleagues while working within Avon Fire & Rescue Service. Inappropriate behaviours will not be tolerated, and poor behaviours rooted out and addressed, we are working hard to ensure this happens.
“Since becoming Chief Fire Officer in April 2022 there have been some significant changes made and we have invested heavily in leadership programmes, training for all staff and gathering feedback to further our commitment to improving and investing in our culture.
“Earlier this year, I commissioned an independent external review of the handling of past staff complaints, grievances, and discipline cases.  All their recommendations were accepted and will be implemented. Several of our policies and procedures will be changed, and further training provided, to ensure behavioural issues are robustly addressed in accordance with our new zero tolerance statement. In addition to existing reporting mechanisms, a new external, independent, and confidential reporting line was launched last month, and we continue to urge staff to come forward with any concerns.
“We recognise there is more work to do and, while we may not be able to fix the past, we are focused on improving current staff experiences and ensuring a supportive and inclusive organisation where our staff can thrive, and we maintain the public’s confidence in us as a service.”
- Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton