2012 has proved to be a year of continued growth for the Fire Industry Association (FIA) according to figures announced at the FIA's sixth AGM last week [7 Nov].

This year the FIA welcomed 84 new members into the organisation to break the 500 members mark and CEO Graham Ellicott said the growth and success of the FIA had enhanced its standing in the fire sector.

With small businesses now making up 75% of the membership, at this year's AGM the members voted to change the FIA voting system to 'one member one vote', giving smaller member companies just as much voice as the larger companies.

Mr Ellicott announced that the FIA has set up a shadow Fire Engineering Council which, if successful, will be brought to the membership for full elections at next year's AGM while the success of the FRA Council in influencing the introduction of a Third Party Certification scheme for Fire Risk Assessment has led to FIA Board discussions about opening up membership to Fire Engineering Companies.

The event also saw the annual FIA awards with the Chairman's award jointly going to Malcolm Brightman of Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service for his outstanding achievement in false alarm reduction; and to Chris Couper for outstanding achievement with The Prince's Trust.

The Maurice Bean Memorial Award for Life time achievement was posthumously awarded to David Barlett for his contribution to the industry and was collected by his wife, Julie Bartlett.

Representing the Chief Fire Officers Association at the event, Neil Gibbins of Devon and Somerset FRS said: " The event gave me a great opportunity to talk to a broad section of the fire world, exploring current issues - especially the impact of recession and our engagement with businesses- with leaders of the fire industry.

"I certainly left with a reinvigorated desire to maintain dialogue with the trade and the FIA, particularly with regard to helping FRS point towards the companies who we can be assured will deliver fire solutions appropriately as they are members of the FIA."

Commenting on the event, Paul Fuller, Vice President CFOA said, "The FIA lunch is a very prestigious event and I am pleased to have been invited to represent CFOA and the Fire Sector Federation. The opportunity to meet with and talk to colleagues from the wider fire industry is invaluable, not least because in these difficult economic times the need for us to work together grows ever more pressing. Many of the relationships and understanding that were created at that event will help take us forward to ensure our communities have the safest built environment in which to live and work."

Posted 13/11/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com