Emergency Services

Sector Overview

Stonewall research shows that hate crime and discrimination have increased over the past five years, and that health inequalities within LGBT communities persist. It’s critical that our police, fire and ambulance services understand these inequalities and are able to tackle them. Many services recognise that to do this effectively, their workforce needs to reflect the diversity of the communities they work with.

Police and fire services, in particular, have worked hard to combat the stereotypes of their working environments as straight, cis, male and macho. Many have active LGBT networks, LGBT community engagement initiatives, robust policies and allies programmes. Several ambulance services have similarly taken big steps to demonstrate their commitment to local LGBT communities through thorough training, outreach and events.

Working for the emergency services is a dynamic and challenging career, and one in which you can make a big difference to the lives of diverse LGBT communities.

What staff in the sector told us
“The workplace culture in my organisation is inclusive of trans people” – 47% of LGBT employees said yes
“I would feel comfortable disclosing my sexual orientation to my colleagues” – 50% of LGB employees said yes
“Senior managers in my organisation demonstrate visible commitment to trans equality” – 52% of LGBT employees said yes
“If I was a victim of homophobic and biphobic bullying and harassment, I would feel confident in reporting it to my employer” – 79% of LGB employees said yes

2018 Workplace Equality Index statistics

64% of organisations provide guidance for employees who are transitioning in their policies
79% of organisations collaborated with other organisations in their region or sector on an LGBT community initiative

In Focus

John Hill, Police Constable, Dyfed-Powys Police/Heddlu Dyfed-PowysEmergency Services - John Hill 1
How did you come to work for the police?

I’d been working for a telecommunications company and applied for a role as a call handler for Dyfed-Powys Police. I had wanted to be a police officer as a kid and at twenty-five I became a police community support officer. Now I’m constable in a neighbourhood policing team, which is all about problem solving, tackling quality of life issues and being dedicated to a specific area. There’s lots of variety; no two days are the same. Police work is challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.

As an LGBT person, what’s it like working for the police?

Not so long ago, being openly gay and working for a service like the police didn’t go together. Those days, certainly for Dyfed-Powys Police, are long gone. I came out as gay in 2003 and didn’t think twice about telling my colleagues. In fact, they were the first to know. We’re a family and to be part of an organisation that is truly representative of the community we serve is both wonderful and humbling.

Are you involved in LGBT inclusion work at your organisation?

I’m the lead of the LGBT Staff Network where I represent LGBT staff and influence policy and support within the organisation. I’m also an LGB&T Liaison Officer, providing support to members of our community and guiding colleagues in bringing people responsible for LGBT-related hate crimes to justice. This work is vital as it removes barriers between the police and the LGBT community by increasing confidence and encouraging incident reporting.