The FIRE magazine/Gore Research Excellence Awards were presented at this year's Fire Related Research and Developments event at the Fire Service College on November 17th.

This year's Fire Related Research and Developments (RE10) event was organised with the joint support of the Institution of Fire Engineers and the Fire Service College.

The annual FIRE magazine/Gore Research Excellence Awards are now in its fourth year and for the first time this year's main award went to a serving member of the Fire and Rescue Service - Firefighter Paul Young from Tyne and Wear - and with it a cheque for £1,000. In addition, a Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Professor Rosemarie Everton, and Dr Bethan Davies and Laura Lawrence received the best Poster Award and a cheque for £250 for their work on the psychological processes involved in psychological debriefing interventions.

Paul Young's presentation was on the psychophysiological demands of repeated search and rescue, guideline and firefighting exercises under ambient and live fire conditions: outcomes, implications and recommendations for future intervention. In practical terms, he was looking at the mental and physical implications of wearing breathing apparatus sets.

Judging panellists were impressed by the quality of the research, conducted in partnership with Northumbria University, School of Psychology and Sports Sciences, and the significant contribution to FRS understanding of the psychological impact of BA usage upon personnel. A key recommendation from the research indicated the pressing need to vary training exercises under live fire conditions.

The awards were presented by WL Gore and Associate's Gordon Burns and FIRE Editor Andrew Lynch. Gordon told delegates: "We are committed to supporting the development of new ideas an innovation in the UK Fire Service and hope that these awards will encourage continued research in the sector."

Andrew said he was particularly pleased to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Professor Rosemarie Everton who he hailed as an "intellectual giant" in the Fire and Rescue Service and someone who had offered great personal support and encouragement over the years, especially in regard to raising "challenging" issues.

Paying tribute to Professor Everton, Andrew said: "Her tutorial and lecturing work at the Fire Service College, particularly on the old Brigade Command Course have made her a well known figure among the most senior people in the Fire and Rescue Service.  Many a prospective senior officer learned a sharp lesson in the skill of debate and argument.  Some might have learned not to judge a book by its cover when preparing for a battle of words!"

The date of the presentation coincided with Rosemarie's appointment as Professor of Fire Law at the University of Central Lancashire in a ceremony overseen by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, along with three other former Prime Ministers.

Rosemarie is now Emeritus Professor of Fire Law at the University of Central Lancashire.

She has been a lecturer in law at University College, London and Senior Lecturer in law at Leicester University, involving post-graduate supervision, undergraduate lecturing and tuition. In 1988, Professor Everton became Director of the Centre for Safety and Environmental Studies at Leicester, specialising in professional development seminars in fire safety law and aspects of planning control.

More recently, Rosemarie advised the government on the development of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and continues to publish work on its implementation and the successes and failures in its interpretation and use.


Photo: Gordon Burns, Professor Rosemarie Everton and Andrew Lynch. See video for more on the FIRE/Gore Research Excellence Awards presentation

Posted November 19th.