Peter MurphyTwo studies by Nottingham Trent University and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service into the assessment and management of risk, and on effective communication, picked up the top two prizes in this year’s Fire Related Research and Developments Conference (RE13).

The award, which recognises research in the fire sector, is sponsored by Fire Magazine and Gore.

The main award went to Peter Murphy (pictured), Kirsten Greenhalgh and Craig Parkin, and looked at addressing the medium and long-term strategic risks within Nottingham and Nottinghamshire as part of the IRMP process.

The original pathway for the research was presented at RE11, and originally focused on the evidential base and the development of the fire cover review for the redeployment of services in the short term.

Speaking after the event, Peter Murphy said that this continuation of research was testament to the great working relationship between Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and Nottingham Trent University.

He said that he hoped this second piece of research will have just as much impact as the initial 2011 study: “As a result of the first piece of research, it was part of a reconsideration and a reconfiguration of all of the services across Nottinghamshire. That went from the fire service to the fire authority, and they implemented the short-term requirements as a result of the first exercise. This second exercise we expect to deliver the same results, just over a longer timeframe.”

However, he also stressed that the research could have wider implications for other fire and rescue services: “The interesting thing is, since the 2004 Fire Act, it has made us change about how we look at risk, and it made it a people centred risk system, rather than a property-centred system. So, in some parts of the country, the pattern of risk will change significantly, while in other parts it will change marginally, but the pattern of risk will change everywhere, across every part of the country, and gradually, the Services are going to have to evolve to take account of that.”

Peter and his team took away the top prize of a cheque for £1,000 and a trophy for their research.

And, in making it a double reason of celebration for Nottingham Trent University and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, the poster award was won by second year BSc psychology students Freyja Nash and Robert Wilding for their work on fire safety communications and messaging. They too took away a trophy, as well as a prize of £250.