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Firefighters will march alongside London’s first rainbow fire engine at this year’s Pride in London parade.
The appliance has been specially decorated in the rainbow colours as part of London Fire Brigade’s Pride celebrations and biggest ever involvement in the LGBT+ festival.
The rainbow fire engine will begin it’s journey from Soho Fire Station before making its way to the start of the Pride parade route.
It will drive along the main parade route accompanied by 80 members of Brigade staff.
Following the parade, Soho fire station will be hosting an open day from 1.30pm - 5pm where Pride revellers can visit the fire station, meet firefighters, sit in a fire engine and even try on a firefighters uniform.
Along with seeing some of the new London Fire Brigade engines which currently serve the capital, visitors to the open day will also be able to see a vintage fire appliance and find out more about firefighter recruitment and have their face painted.
Firefighters from Soho’s blue watch will also carry out a small drill at 3pm for all to see.
Tom George, the Brigade’s Director of Operations, said: ”Pride is always a key part of Soho Fire Station’s calendar but this year we are going a step further with our rainbow fire engine. This design shows our commitment to supporting Pride and the LGBT+ community.
"Fire stations are at the centre of communities across London and we want to make sure our firefighters experience an inclusive culture in the workplace, as well as accommodating visitors from all members of the community, no matter what their age, gender, sexuality or race.”
The open day and Brigade’s involvement in Pride is part of our Safer Together strategy, a ten-year plan aimed at making the capital’s fire service the most diverse and inclusive in the country.
Under the plan, fire chiefs will take an even more hard-line approach to bullying and harassment and will seek to further increase the diversity of its workforce, by reinforcing its efforts to encourage more people from a range of backgrounds to apply to work for the Brigade.
Tom George added: “We know that the more diverse our organisation is, the better we’ll serve Londoners. We want London’s LGBT+ community to know that London Fire Brigade is a workplace that will suit them and some of the people we currently have working for us are a testament to that.
"This ten-year plan will help us to build on our reputation as the most diverse and inclusive fire service in the country, shaping how we manage any form of discrimination this is causing our staff to feel they are not part of our team."
The Brigade has been one of the UK’s top 25 gay friendly employers in the past and Brigade is a Stonewall champion and aims to get back into the top 100. Stonewall looks at how well employers engage with LGBT+ staff, customers and service users and alongside gay friendly policies, also collects evidence of actual practice like recruitment and mentoring.