South Yorkshire fire service showcasing Black History exhibition in Sheffield

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are holding a photography exhibition in honour of Black History month - to celebrate staff achievements and to inspire future firefighters.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 14:23 pm
Black history month photographic exhibition by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue - Neil Evans, Gemma Grant and Delroy Gallaway, who were all subjects for the portraits

A total of 11 members of employees, past and present - all from African and Afro-Caribbean backgrounds - have had their portraits taken for the exhibition.

From firefighters to support staff, they will be displayed at various locations in Sheffield during this month.

Delroy Galloway, Elm Lane station manager, is one of the members of staff featured in the exhibition.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue's Black History month exhibition

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He said: “Over the last few years we’ve done some amazing work around supporting underrepresented groups within the fire service, so it’s really good to be able to carry that work on and get behind Black History Month in a meaningful way.

“People with African and Carribean backgrounds are currently underrepresented within the fire service nationally. We aim to change that through projects such as this one, as well as shine a light on some very deserving colleagues.”

Currently, reports show that just four per cent of firefighters across the UK are representative of individuals from a black or ethnic minority background.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue believe that in order to provide the public with the best possible service, it needs to truly represent the communities it serves.

Black history monthephotographic exhibition by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue - Neil Evans, Gemma Grant and Delroy Gallaway

Alex Johnson, deputy chief fire officer, said: “We couldn’t be prouder of our staff, and their rich heritage, and wanted to do something special to celebrate their contributions to the service and those we serve.”

“The exhibition is about recognising staff of the past, and present, and inspiring the next generation of firefighters, as we strive to ensure our workforce fully reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.”

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue want to attract individuals who are enthusiastic about serving their local community and that want to work in a positive team, who had perhaps not thought about a career in the fire service before.

For Delroy, he saw an advert in the job centre and ‘decided to give it a try’ and despite it taking him ‘around six years and three applications’ before he was successful, he has become a station manager 23 years later.

Behind each photograph is a story like Delroy’s.

All 11 portraits, taken by Orestes Rix - a member of the finance team who does portrait photography in his spare time - will be showcased around Sheffield on different dates throughout October.

Visits will be made to Ponds Forge, the Winter Gardens, Moor Market and Sheffield Railway Station.

For more information about the exhibition or to register interest in becoming a member of the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service, visit www.syfire.gov.uk.