Specialists in bespoke training and research
Use our cultural expertise to understand, improve and change your workplace culture. Specialists in masculine workplaces. Research, training and consultancy in all masculine workplaces including police and fire service with a particular emphasis on formal and informal cultures, modernisation, entreprenerial thinking, change management, resistance, racism, sexism and equality.   Women fire fighters, women in the fire service police, policing and equality in the police and fire service - the fitting-in website where academia and the fire service can meet to discuss fire service culture and other matters- a resource for research and consultancy for the fire and rescue service and firefighters and police and policing- Organised by Dr Dave Baigent this site provides a place to share and publish your own research, to look at what others have written about the fire and police service and to ask about our commercial offerings.


Academics are not the experts, managers are the experts but what fitting-in can do is to help managers to use their expertise.

Theory without practice is a waste - Practice without theory may just be dumb!


Congratulations to Dr Sarah O'Connor. Sarah's PhD on fire service management is now complete - this is a unique piece of work that is evidence based and has much to add to the debate about modern fire service management.

'Innocent Bias'

We note that the Thomas Review speaks about 'innocent bias' in relation to equality. Although we didn't use that term, our work in Sweden was all about raising and identifying this behaviour in a programme we led with the whole of the workforce in Räddningstjänsten Syd.

Our programme was called 'Stopping the drip.'

In simple terms, 'Stopping the Drip was a very hands on and interactive awareness training based around questions about 'are you conscious of how your behaviour impacts on others?' . This was followed by working with the group to promote ways that people could speak out to challenge their colleagues in an appropriate manner.

Our catchphrase for challenging this type of behaviour was and remains 'what you don't condemn you condon'.

In many ways 'innocent bias' is almost a sequel to the idea of 'institutional behaviour' raised following the Lawrence Enquiry. At that time the fire service followed a lead by Her Majesty's Inspector that suggested it was institutionally sexist, and adopted an approach to overcome sexism by an 'acceptence' that sexist behaviour was less about the individual and more about how the institution set the tone for the behaviour of its workforce. One outcome was the attempt to demiliatrise the fire service as part of an attempt to loose its masculine image. We are currently constructing a paper so as to describe how this affected the organisation of the fire service through to the current day.

If you would like to hear more please ring on 07802 495 329 or Email


The team at Fitting-in have extensive knowledge of working in and with the fire service, other industries and in academia.

Fitting-in specialises in producing action research for clients who want an 'outside' view on their organisation.

We look at old problems, new ideas and your culture - We provide fully supported answers!

Our three/four day snapshot audit allows for two researchers to meet with you to plan the research, spend three days researching and then provide an immediate verbal report back: a written report follows in seven days. Email now for further details or ring on 07802495328.

Examples can be provided from our work in Sweden, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Local Government Association, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire.

We also work with other organisations but to date this work remains confidential.

Although our research is based on academic standards we do not live in an ivory tower - we are 'short on rhetoric and long on answers'.

Our work in Sweden on:

Gender and Emergency Services Project 2010-2014 at Karlstad University

"En brandstation för all" 2012-2016 (a fire station for all) at Räddningstjänsten Syd

Speaking with Firefighters, the MSB, SMO and academics - see press release for talk at Karlstad



Fitting-in provides nut and bolts results that can be actioned by the experts – those managers chosen for their decision-making skills who deal with the thorny issues on the ground.

The team have offered their work at LGA annual conferences and working groups, in individual fire services, to representative bodies, to Standing Committees of the House of Commons, to the DCLG, at the fire service college.

There is also an extensive portfolio of papers presented to national and international academic and fire service conferences. Much of our research has been as the result of industry led commissions, some of this has been published and much of it remains confidential.

Internationally we have recently finished a five year research project for the MSB in Sweden and the Swedish Fire Service.

We continue to retain links based on our work with the New South Wales and Melbourne fire services and with the national and international scholars we have helped with their research.


Fitting-in offers two services:

- commercial consultancy service that draws on our extensive knowledge of workplace culture, resistance to change, equality matters and management.

- free academic reference point through this website:

- where we publish submitted papers for other students to read

- and offer advice to people studying the fire service. Largely these people are undergraduate, masters and higher degree students from the fire service who we freely mentor and advise.

Fitting-in specialise in snapshot audits and reports that can take as little as three days and are designed to give an overview of an existing problem, or look at potential new ideas.

This service is supported by more extensive training and projects on management, cultural understanding and equality.

Our widely acclaimed research that helps organisations to understand themselves is completed to academic standards. We do not offer any training that is not research led.

The fitting-in team

Principally the team consists of Dr Dave Baigent (Phd, BA Hons, FHEA and FIFireE) and Dr Sarah O’Connor (PhD CertEd, BA Hons FDA). However, we are often assisted by an extensive network of people who have expertise in the fire service, wider industry and in academia. CV's

Dave's 17 years of working as a consultant on the fire service, and as an academic researching and lecturing on the fire service, other emergency services and industry is supported by his over 30 year's experience of working in the fire service. Recently Dave has been appointed Fellowship of the IFE (FIFireE) by Main Board nomination.

Sarah's experience from 15 years of consultancy work, supported by her research and lecturing on the fire service, is now extended by her PhD research on fire service managers/management at the University of Kent.

To find out more about our services read on or contact us.



Home -- 'A fire station for all' and other Swedish Work
Recent index of contributions on fire service matter -- Older index of contributions
Workshops on fire service culture and equality -- Educational Workshops -- Consultancy
Elite briefing/workshops --- Academic Reference Point -- Are you big enough to stand a snapshot cultural audit from fitting-in -- Cultural Audits ---- Audit Commission Report   'Rising to the Challenge' -- Snapshot Audits -- Research -- Problem solving by  fitting-in -- Support for degrees and masters qualifications -- Work completed over the years -- Impact AssessmentsEquality Action Plan
Labour Government's Equality and Diversity Strategy
One Decade On - Survey on women firefighters
C&LG firefighters survey 08
Draft papers for reading
Main Index
Contact us
Some things from Australia on equality
Melbourne DiversityConference
CV & References
Have you seen Ethos?
Audit Commission on equality
How do I send my writing to fitting-in for publication
What does fitting-in publish
How do I do research - some basic tips
Writing a bibliography
Reports from Government
Diversity Strategy
Contact us
Synopsis of papers on Open Government

References: See what The Swedish Fire Service, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Fire Services, Swedish MSB and Tom Carroll (Past president of CFOA ) and others have said.

Fitting-in can provide a cultural audit that not only feeds back on attitudes in your service it also provides an outside view on how your organisation is thinking at all levels that is supported by recommendations for focussing change.This is what Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service had to say about the Ethos research, communications and training project:

"The Service are delighted with the research and reports produced by "Fitting-in. We believe that your original hypothesis and work undertaken in Merseyside has resulted in a ground breaking piece of work that can only serve to inform the wider fire and rescue communities." 

For further information or just to talk about what fitting-in can provide ring Dr Dave Baigent (FIFireE) 07802 495 329 or email

Academic theory without practice is a waste - practice without theory may just be dumb

Site under reconstruction 7-4-14 please contact us with any errors

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