Diabetes is no longer a barrier to having a successful career in the Fire Service

Having diabetes is no longer a barrier to having a successful career in the Fire Service, a study has found.

The report, Diabetes and the Fire Service Survey Report, by charity Diabetes UK, looks at how the service has accommodated personnel with diabetes since the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was extended to cover the emergency services in October 2004.

Under the DDA, it is unlawful for an employer to operate blanket bans on the recruitment of people with diabetes. Similarly, if an employee develops diabetes while in employment, reasonable adjustments must be made to accommodate them.

But the report does highlight a variety of inconsistencies around the application of individual medical assessment; the length of time taken to individually assess firefighters and, in some cases, a lack of diabetes awareness.

Simon O’Neill, director of care at Diabetes UK, said, “We know there is no reason why firefighters and control staff with well-controlled diabetes should not be able to carry out their duties.

“This report helps us reinforce the message that each person with diabetes must be individually assessed before any decision is taken regarding their fitness to undertake duties.”

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