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Editor Andrew Ledgerton-Lynch reflects on 25 years with FIRE magazine and looks forward to working collaboratively across the fire sector to improve firefighter and public safety
Last month marked 25 years ago to the day that I first entered the fray with FIRE magazine as a 20-something with a receding hairline. Back then I had a fervent belief in journalistic integrity and soon adopted a dedication to firefighter and public safety. As a 50-something with no hairline, journalistic integrity remains sacrosanct and that fervent belief in improving firefighter and public safety has never wavered, although I’m largely none the wiser as to how I made it this far.
The commitment to improving firefighter safety arose from my first foray into the Fire Service – a conference on the risks of sandwich panel buildings in Bedford. I was dumbfounded by the severity of risk facing firefighters entering these constructions, coming not long after the tragic death of Avon firefighter Fleur Lombard – the investigation in the blaze precipitating a step change in perception on PPE – and foreshadowing the appalling deaths in Atherstone-on-Stow.
Decades of grappling with the issues, collaborating with all and sundry to try and make a difference and building innumerable close friendships across the fire sector divides has left a profound imprint on this reporter. As always, if I were to mark my own homework I would say something along the lines of “ok” but “could do better”.