If you’re applying for a firefighter position, you’ll need to be aware of the core values of the Fire and Rescue Service in the UK.
These may be slightly differently worded from FRS to FRS – after all, every area’s recruitment process is slightly different. However, there is a Core Code of Ethics which was created to help every member of the UK Fire and Rescue Service to act in the right way.
Firefighters make many challenging decisions every day as part of their job. The Core Code of Ethics is a clear set of principles for UK firefighters to base their behaviour on.
The Core Code was designed to help Firefighters serve their communities in the best way possible, and also to make FRSs even better places to work. It encourages people to display, and recognise, good behaviours, and to challenge conduct that goes against the Code.
The Five Ethical Principles
The Code sets out five ethical principles. These are the foundation for promoting good behaviour, and challenging inappropriate behaviour.
These ethical principles have been created specifically for UK Fire and Rescue Services, in a collaboration by the NFCC (National Fire Chiefs Council), the Local Government Association, and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.
- Putting communities first. Firefighters are expected to put the interests of the public, their community, and service users first at all times.
- Integrity. Firefighters are expected to act with the utmost integrity. This involves being open, honest, and consistent in everything that they do.
- Dignity and respect. Firefighters must treat every person they encounter with dignity and respect. This means making objective decisions, free of discrimination and bias, that are based on evidence.
- Leadership. Firefighters should constantly strive to be a positive role model, hold themselves accountable, and demonstrate adaptability and resilience.
- EDI – Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. Firefighters must take a stand against any and all forms of discrimination, create equal opportunities, promote equality, and celebrate difference.
Other Important Core Values in the Fire and Rescue Service
Teamwork is often mentioned within the core values of individual FRSs. It’s recognised as a universal quality, and an important value for both operational and non-operational staff. Effective inter-departmental communication and cooperation, as well as collaboration with other emergency services and agencies, helps the UK FRS to provide the best service possible to the public.
A commitment to personal development is another important value expected of firefighters. This is related closely to accountability, and involves accepting responsibility for personal performance, having an open mind, considering constructive criticism thoughtfully, and consulting others when appropriate. It also means striving for excellence in whatever you do, be this training, career development or simply your day-to-day duties.