Introducing core values: the Fire and Rescue Service is undergoing great change. As the Fire Services Act receives Royal Assent the National Framework is now on a statutory footing. FIRE spoke to Avon Fire Brigade's DCFO Jerry O'Brien on the need for values at the heart of any organisation embarking on a programme of change.(Core Values)

"If you want to have a different organisation or service you have to be different, you have to act differently. It is as simple as that. No organisation can expect to move in a new direction if it is still working to old traditions and rules. We can no longer rely on outdated approaches to learning and development.

"Equality and diversity are fundamental concepts that must underpin every organisation, and in order to modernise effectively, the Fire and Rescue Service must embrace them too.

"Common values are key to modernisation and something that everyone within the Fire and Rescue Service must work towards. An organisation must promote its strengths publicly in order to achieve a work force which reflects varied cultures and ideas in its environment?

"The idea of introducing set values might seem a daunting task to some, however it need not be. Most people already work to values. These may be personal, but more often than not they stem from their organisations ethos. This is no different in the Fire and Rescue Service.

"The most important thing to remember is that one of the essential tools for successful introduction of values into the workplace is already in place--our staff, both uniformed and support. What has to be addressed is the need for all staff to reflect the same values and act collectively to bring them alive in our organisation."

Mentioned in Core Values in the Fire and Rescue Service (i), Avon Fire Brigade, has been singled out for its exemplary work in integrating values into its everyday practices. …

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