london branch bridge"It was my pleasure to attend a meeting, on behalf of the International President, of the London Branch today, 04/06/2014, at City Hall London. The headquarters of the Greater London Authority, right by the River Thames by Tower Bridge, an iconic London landmark. It was a fitting venue for a meeting and CPD event attended by a good number of IFE members from across the fire sector. The subject of the CPD event was the transport infrastructure in London, covering the planning for emergencies (Tony Cash TfL), Crossrail and HS2 (John Dowsett LFB) and operational guidance (Dave Bulbrook LFB). Steve Hamm, branch Vice President, opened the meeting, setting out steps that had been taken by the London Branch to help renew interest in branch events. In particular he referred to the diverse membership of the branch council, which includes IFE members from different parts of the fire sector.

"Tony Cash, an energetic supporter of the IFE, described the complexity of the challenge faced by Transport for London (TfL) helping millions of people move around the City for work or pleasure, and how important that is for the success of the City itself. John Dowsett gave a fascinating insight into the route, design and construction of Europe’s current most costly infrastructure project, a line underground east to west across London. John described particular challenges including the location of access and inter connection tunnels. The event concluded with input from London Fire Brigade’s Dave Bulbrook, describing operational preparedness for events involving multi agencies, attended initially by front line operational managers.

"To help develop the interaction the meeting then moved on to a nearby hostelry, to allow time for attendees to meet in an informal environment. I met a number of IFE members and listened to their views about the IFE and fire engineering in general. I left with a number of tasks to follow up on and a feeling that we have a strong network of fire engineers in London, brought together by the IFE. Thanks in particular should go to Steve Hamm, Ben Bradshaw, Mick Quy and Roy Bishop as well as the aforementioned speakers."