Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service signs the Armed Forces Covenant


Gavin Ellis, Devon and Somerset’s Fire and Rescue Service’s new Chief Officer, signed the Armed Forces Covenant on 3 August 2023 alongside Naval Regional Commander, Brigadier Graeme Fraser.

The Covenant is a national responsibility and the Government is committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for the Armed Forces community by working with a range of delivery partners including businesses, local authorities, charities and the public.

The signing was witnessed by Gavin’s two Area Commanders Mike Porter and Jon Worsley and Regional Air Employer Engagement Officer, Wing Commander Alex Drake, and Wessex Reserve Forces and Cadets Association Devon County Chair, Jane Allen.

Wessex Reserve Forces and Cadets Association Employer Engagement Director, Jon Beake, said “Devon and Somerset Fire have long been signatories to Devon Council’s previous Community Covenant, but today’s signing sees the Service adopt pledges around the employment of members of the Armed Forces Community for itself, including additional paid leave for Reservists and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers”.

Speaking of the signing, Brigadier Jock Fraser Royal Marines, Naval Regional Commander Wales, Western England and the Channel Islands said “It was a real privilege to sign the Armed Forces Covenant with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service today.  In signing the Covenant, the Service has formally recognised the contribution serving regular and reserve personnel, veterans and their families make to our local communities.  The Armed Forces continue to enjoy tremendous support in Devon and Somerset from the public we serve and I hope that the pledge from such a respected organisation will encourage other institutions and businesses in the region to sign the Armed Forces Covenant too”.

There are also ongoing positive conversations with Service leads about sharing multiple Reserve/On-call roles particularly in the ex-Service space that will be very interesting to see develop. It is great to get such a well-respected and significant employer on board with this public display of support to the Armed Forces community, and we hope this serves as a beacon for other public and commercial organisations to follow.

Reserve Forces