The Fire Industry Association is once again delighted to act as an award sponsor at this year’s Excellence in Fire & Emergency Awards and playing its small part in honouring outstanding achievement in the sector over the last year.
The FIA has over 880 members comprising manufacturers, suppliers and service providers across the field of fire protection and is the largest fire trade association in Europe. A not-for-profit organisation, it is a major provider of fire safety training and has the primary objective of promoting and improving fire safety products, systems, services and methodologies.
The FIA promotes and shapes legislation and the professional standards of the fire industry through close liaison with government, official bodies and other key stakeholders. Dedicated to the highest standards and quality, it is the ‘go to’ organisation for government and regulators with FIA members sitting on over 150 boards and committees.
As many of you know, the FIA’s fire and rescue suppliers are represented by its FIRESA Council. James Jones recently stepped down as Chairman after guiding us through a busy and fruitful period with a mix of experience, enthusiasm and sheer hard work. Our new Chairman is Bernie Higgins has been active in the fire sector for 40 years and brings his own wealth of talent and experience to the role. He is joined by Lesley Routh-Jones who remains as Vice-Chair to complete an outstanding partnership at the helm of FIRESA Council.
Bernie says: “I will continue to build on the excellent work carried out by my predecessors and will lead our efforts to ensure that collaboration within the sector is improved to the benefit of both the services and the suppliers. The coming years will see more change for our industry as the outcomes of the Grenfell Inquiry are delivered; this will be a watershed period for the fire sector as a whole.”
Since this time last year, the National Fire Chiefs Council, the FRS Inspectorate, PCC/Mayoral control of FRAs and greater collaboration within the FRSs and with other ‘blue light’ services are further embedded as part of the new fire and rescue landscape and are continuing to evolve. It is especially important for us and our members that FIRESA Council has further strengthened its position and influence within these spheres as well as contributing to a number of newer developments.
Council’s key objectives over this period remain that of active representation of the fire and rescue supply industry across a range of sectoral issues. Among these is our presence on the NFCC’s Customer and Supplier Engagement Group as part of its Fire and Commercial Transformation Programme which enables us to assist in developing the FRS R&D and National Collaborative Procurement projects. Greater collaboration in procurement is vital in bringing an end to the duplication of frameworks and offering instead multi-supplier national frameworks that are used by all FRSs.
As well as engaging with the wider NFCC, we work also with central and local government, HM Inspectorate, exhibition organisers and bodies such as the Fire Sector Federation, IFE and the Fire Service College. Other FIRESA Council activities include representation on many BS, EN and ISO Standards Committees, creation of a Technology Workstream and the inauguration of an Evacuation Equipment Group within the FIA.
All this of course comes against the backdrop of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017 which claimed 72 lives and with the subsequent Inquiry identifying serious and indeed fatal shortcomings in the fire safety regime applied to buildings across the land. The skills and bravery of firefighters tackling the blaze are clearly beyond question, but attention now focuses on preventing any such tragedy taking place in the future.
FIRESA Council pledges its full support in contributing positively to the evolution of our FRSs on behalf of the FIA’s firefighting suppliers. Our message to suppliers not currently members of the FIA is to become part of our quest to shape the future of the services in a way that works for everyone. If you are a fire and rescue practitioner, we welcome your contact on any issues that you would wish to bring to the fire and rescue supply industry or indeed the wider FIA.
To find out more, visit the FIA web site at: www.fia.uk.com and its FIRESA Council page at: www.fia.uk.com/about-us/structure/firesa-council.html. You can also contact us directly on 020 3166 5002; or e-mail the FIRESA Council Secretary at: firstname.lastname@example.org