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New Diabetes UK guidance on diabetes and the fire service

Diabetes UK is launching today its 'Guidance on the recruitment and employment of firefighters and control room staff with diabetes' document.

The guidance is a practical document to support employers in the recruitment and retention of firefighters and control room staff with diabetes.

The guidance will be officially launched in parliament today during a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes. The meeting will be chaired by Adrian Sanders MP and speakers will include Sadiq Khan MP, Fire Minister, and Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK. Sadiq Khan MP also provided a foreword for the Diabetes UK guidance.

An invaluable tool

“The guidance will prove an invaluable tool for fire services across the UK and it will help promote good practice," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

"We already know that there is no reason why firefighters and control staff with well-controlled diabetes should not be able to carry out their duties. The document will help ensure that people with diabetes are assessed individually and will also help clarify the steps that fire service employers should take ensure that people with diabetes are treated fairly within the service.”

People with diabetes have a right to be treated fairly

Fire Minister Sadiq Khan said: “Diabetes is not a bar to a career in the service and it shouldn't be a barrier to firefighters, potential firefighters and other staff. The Fire and Rescue Service must draw on all the potential available to it by providing career opportunities to everyone.

"This guidance makes it clear that people with diabetes have a right to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and will help all Fire and Rescue Services create the best possible environment for firefighters and staff with diabetes.”

Supporting the guidance

Diabetes UK compiled the guidance with the support of the following organisations: The Association of Local Authority Medical Advisors (ALAMA), the International Register of Firefighters with Diabetes (IRFD), the National Disabled Fire Association, the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA), the Retained Firefighters Union, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. 

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