Fire and Emergency Services Programs 

In recent years Fire and Emergency Services in the United States and United Kingdom have implemented a variety of initiatives to recruit and retain responders who reflect their increasingly diverse communities, in order to provide higher quality customer service. 

Diversifying emergency service agencies demands an honest and critical examination of historical and current fire service culture. What aspects of our public image may still be unwelcoming to many skilled and motivated people?

Too often we recruit people of color, women, or LGBT responders, without addressing the relics of racism, sexism and homophobia that inhabit our organizations.

New recruits enter our departments with high expectations, but too often, they face daily prejudice or even open hostility, and are driven out. This “revolving door” wastes departmental time, energy and money in training and gear, creates an atmosphere of distrust, and sets up many recruits to fail.

Trust has been and continues to be the keystone of emergency service. Trust between responders – “I trust you to have my back.” Trust from our customer, Mrs. Smith – “I trust you to make this horrible day better.” 

Unaddressed racism, sexism or homophobia / transphobia destroy trust, at every level.

jona olsson, Director of cultural bridges to justice and Chief of Latir Volunteer Fire Department, has been providing justice training designed specifically for fire and emergency service organizations in The U. S. and U. K. since 1999. (See jona's fire service bio.)

Using YOUR objectives as a guide, she will work with you to design a training or keynote on any of the justice program topics that will be relevant and applicable to emergency personnel. For more information contact jona at or go to CONTACT US.


               Women of the London Fire Brigade                                  Black & Ethnic Minority Section; Fire Brigades Union