Human Dignity: Fire and emergency services in the 21st century

The IAFC’s statement regarding human dignity points to three issues the fire service must improve regarding diversity

Earlier this week, the IAFC’s Board of Directors, at their meeting in Dallas, prior to the annual Fire-Rescue International conference, reaffirmed their 2013 Position on Human Dignity in the fire service following several recent challenging incidents in local communities toward fire chiefs and fire departments. The statement in part reads as follows:

“As an organization, we must take positive steps to ensure human dignity by avoiding any remaining vestiges of discrimination or unequal treatment including, but not limited to, a basis on race, color, spirituality, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status or legally protected characteristic.”

The specific incident that sparked the IAFC’s reaffirmation involves the use of racial epithets and derogatory statements on social media against incoming Fairfax County Fire Chief John Butler, who will be the first African American chief of the department when he takes over in September.


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