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FIRE Congress

Changing the Face of the Fire and Rescue Service

Fire logo 

Date: 24 May 2018

In partnership with AFSA:


Venue: The Caledonian Club, London

Sponsored by Babcock:



In 2016, the then Home Secretary Theresa May criticised the UK Fire and Rescue Services of being 96% white and 95% male. Since then, attempts have been made to increase equality and diversity, predominantly by focusing on fairness for legally protected groups and recruitment of under-represented groups. Some progress has been made: for example, there are now three female Chief Fire Officers for the very first time, representing the progress that has allowed women to hold the highest positions. However, there is still much to do.

At FIRE magazine, we champion diversity and equality within the fire service. We proudly support London Fire Brigade’s #firefightingsexism campaign; at our annual Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards we recognise both influential women and influential BAME individuals and we have now partnered with the Asian Fire Service Association to bring you a Congress on Changing the Face of the Fire and Rescue Service.

We believe that this Congress will help us move the discussion beyond compliance with the law to a more inclusion focused agenda, in order to permanently transform the fire and rescue service for the better.

The Congress on Changing the Face of the Fire and Rescue Service will focus on four key themes.

  • Recruit differently
  • Manage differently
  • Promote differently
  • Collaborate differently

By looking at these processes and actions in a different way, a more equal and diverse workforce can be created, one which encourages inclusivity in order to build a more sustainable fire and rescue service.


09:00-09:45 Registration
09:45-10:00 Welcome and Introduction - FIRE Editor Andrew Lynch and Jagtar Singh OBE, AFSA National Advisor
10:00-10:15 Introduction to Congress and Commitment to Inclusion - Roy Wilsher, Chief Executive, National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC)
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:30 Session One - Stepping Up to the Challenge
  Smoke and Mirrors - Diane Dunlevey, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
  Conditions of Service for Fire and Rescue Staff: Independent Review - Adrian Thomas, CFCC & LGA

Panel Session - Learning from Past Reports on Equality and Diversity and Changing the Face of the Fire Service

Divya Patel, London Fire Brigade (Fire Service);

Dennis Moss, Welsh Ambulance Service (Ambulance);

Diane Dunlevey, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (Fire Service);

Paul Deemer, NHS Employers (NHS);

Tola Munro, President, National Black Police Association (NBPA) (Police);

Preith Shergill, West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service (Fire Service)

13:15-14:00 Lunch

Panel Session - Time to Embrace Positive Action in the Blue Light Services Chaired by Jagtar Singh

Trevor Ferguson, CFO, Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service (TBC);

Ann Millington, CEO Kent Fire & Rescue Service (TBC);

Dawn Whittaker, CEO East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (TBC);

Dany Cotton, CFO London Fire Brigade (TBC);

John Edwards, West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service (TBC);

Yasmin Bukarity, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (TBC)

14:45-15:30 Session Two - Promoting Differently and Positive Action - Paul Deemer, NHS Employers (NHS)
15:30-16:30 Session Three - Managing Differently and Understanding Unconscious Bias - Roger Kline, Independent Consultant
16:30 Closing remarks - Andrew Lynch and Jagtar Singh



We offer 20% off tickets for subscribers to FIRE magazine.




Fire service/local government/public sector- £172+VAT
Private sector- £212+VAT





Fire service/local government/public sector- £215+VAT
Private sector- £265+VAT



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