The Fire Industry Association has announced that they will be merging with the Fire and Rescue Fire & Rescue Suppliers Association from next month.

FIRESA has grown in its standing and influence year-on-year since its formal inception in April 2005; however, it has been seeking new ways to develop itself to benefit its fire fighting sector members. Recent discussions, followed by a formal vote by the FIRESA membership have resulted in the decision to integrate FIRESA into the FIA fold.

FIRESA Chairman, Derek Gotts has welcomed the integration, describing it as “a natural progression” for both parties. “The FIA provides a robust mature trade body with structured additional resources and capabilities while FIRESA brings a strong and credible reputation that complements the FIA and will allow us to have a stronger joint voice to represent our members’ best interests. It is my belief that this will deliver better value, structure, and clarity of message for the FIRESA members”, he said.

Although it has remained a separate trade association representing suppliers to the Fire and Rescue sector, FIRESA’s secretariat services have been provided by the FIA for the last eight years. This close relationship means that the planned merger will be fairly straightforward and a welcomed move on both sides.

Commenting on the announcement, FIA CEO, Graham Ellicott said: “The FIA welcomes the integration of FIRESA and sees this coming together as a really positive move for both associations. The weight that the FIRESA ‘brand’ brings to the FIA can only add credibility and strength of voice when representing our members to other stakeholders. We have seen in recent joint projects that we are both working with the same stakeholders and it is logical to join forces and take advantage of the greater critical mass”.

The existing FIRESA Council will sit alongside the five FIA Councils and will continue to operate in the same way - as the driving force behind fire fighting sector activities - while the FIRESA Chairman will sit on the FIA Board. FIRESA members will become FIA members with access to all FIA membership benefits and subject to the FIA Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Secretariat support to the FIRESA-based membership will continue to be provided by David Smith, with additional support and services provided by other members of the FIA Team. Smith said: “I’ve been looking after FIRESA since its inception and I was involved in both the merger of the BFPSA and FETA to form the FIA in 2007, and more recently, in the formal integration of the FIA Export Council into the main FIA structure. I firmly believe that the current integration will offer enormous benefits, enabling us together to move forward as a stronger and more effective body than ever before.”

Posted 26/03/2013 by richard.hook@pavpub.com