Women who work for the Fire and Rescue Service were invited to unlock their potential during a development weekend in Tyne and Wear.   

This is the first time in 10 years that Networking Women in the Fire Service has delivered this type of training outside the Fire Service College in Gloucestershire. The North East fire and rescue service's have been working in partnership and said they were proud to sponsor the event and bring it to the North East.  

Cleveland Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer and Regional Lead for Diversity, Ian Hayton said: "It is especially important in these uncertain economic times, that progress is made on equality, diversity and fairness issues and we have attracted female staff from a variety of roles within the Service from across the country."

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service hosted the development weekend between October 1-3 at the service's training centre at Barmston Mere, Nissan Way, Sunderland. 

Training Centre Manager, John Hall, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: "Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is committed to staff development and we are extremely proud to have hosted the Networking Women in the Fire Service development weekend. The training facilities here at Tyne and Wear are one of the best in the UK and it is an honour to welcome female fire and rescue staff from across the country to use the facilities."

The weekend was tailored to provide female staff the opportunity to take part in a variety of operational based incident exercises and personal development sessions to enhance confidence in the workplace. 

Workshops in faith awareness, stress management, women's physical fitness, and health and work life balance issues provided development opportunities regardless of role. There was also an opportunity for delegates to find out in detail about the role of an operational firefighter by taking part in the 'Be a Firefighter for the Day' session.