Gay rights organisation, trade unions, politicains and fire and rescue professionals from across the country are to meet later this year to discuss LGBT topics.

Avon Fire Service, the Fire Brigades Union, Stonewall and Unison are holding a groundbreaking conference to discuss LGBT equality in the fire and rescue service.

The two-day conference, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality in the Fire Service – an Absolute Taboo? will feature speeches from Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, and Brian Paddick, former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

“Making everyone feel comfortable and equal at work is paramount,” said Kevin Pearson, chief fire officer at Avon Fire Rescue Service.

“New legislation in this field has recently been introduced and it is vital it is not only enforced, but that fire and rescue services move beyond compliance to make their practices exemplary.”

There will also be open forum and workshops with government ministers, equality and diversity managers and LGBT fire and rescue staff from around the country.

The conference is being held in Bristol, and runs from Tuesday 9 October until Wednesday 10 October.