Time to draw a line in the sand: throwing down the gauntlet to Fire Service leaders, the Lothian and Borders Assistant Firemaster questions the senior officer recruitment processes adopted by the 'champions of change', asking such questions as: are all principal officer positions advertised openly? And, are selection processes independently monitored by an HR specialist?(Principal Officers)

I WAS ASKED TO MAKE A presentation at the launch of the findings of the Thematic Review of Equality in the British Fire Service and I did so as a representative of B&EMM (Black and Ethnic Minority Members) FBU. Having served over 20 years as a very small minority of black and Asian firefighters, I'd had first hand knowledge and experience of what being in such a small minority meant within an organisation such as the Fire Service.

The Thematic had served to confirm much of what I already knew and so supporting its outcomes was not a difficulty for me and the invitation to speak gave me a platform to press home the point and to lay down a significant challenge to those who were present representing the Service.

I realised the situational power that I was, for once, armed with. There was I, one of what the review had referred to as 'damaged individuals', with 20 years worth of experiences and the names associated with each abuse being given the opportunity to speak openly and frankly to the great and the godly of Fire Service leaders. …

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