“Fabulous weekend and overcame some fears supported by others”

There were 248 delegates who attended the Women in the Fire Service UK’s 19th National Training & Development Event on 21-23 June. Women and men from all different roles across the sector represented their service, from firefighters, control room officers, community safety advocates, and HR administrators to business analysts. 

Recent survey results showed a great satisfaction rate, with delegates finding workshops inspiring and insightful, and enjoying both the practical and classroom sessions. Delegate feedback provides valuable guidance on how our future events can be even more effective. The response was overwhelmingly positive – for many, this was their first time taking part. 

What people said about the benefits of attending:

  • ‘Meeting people from other departments and services has given me a wider understanding of the fire service’
  • ‘Feel proud of myself for pushing myself to do new things’
  • ‘It’s been great trying out something different and has opened my options for the future’
  • ‘100% I intend to make positive change when I go back to work 100%’
  • ‘I feel reinvigorated and motivated to aim higher – it’s reminded me I am capable’

Humberside Fire & Rescue Service and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service (Corporate Members), sent us the following comments from staff on their experience: 


“Wonderful opportunity, I mixed with people both male and female from other brigades even from other countries … definitely no Ops/Support divide felt at all, complete opposite, I was given encouragement and support from everyone I met. Felt very much a part of a team during the workshops, even though with strangers, who felt like friends by the end of our day … Feel very lucky to have been included to take part.’

“Really great weekend, a chance to try new skills to see if that’s a career option in the future, meet new people and have lots of fun too.’

“I would like to thank HFRS for the opportunity to attend another fantastic weekend organised by Women in the Fire Service. I have attended workshops like Urban Search and Rescue and Be a Firefighter, got to crawl in all sorts of tunnels carrying a casualty on a stretcher and even wear BA and put a car fire out! I would like to say to people who have not been before, both operational and non-operational, men or women to sign up for next year and go attend some amazing workshops and meet some inspirational people.’

“Fabulous weekend and overcame some fears supported by others.’

“Amazing opportunity to challenge myself! … I got through tunnels I didn’t think I could fit in and abseiled from heights with little fear. Amazing support from instructors and women in general. Meeting new friends and colleagues from far and wide creating opportunities for new exciting challenging pursuits.’

‘ … the highlight being getting to drive an appliance (blindfolded too) and practice self-defence moves on a colleague. We laughed so much. Getting to know colleagues better from HFRS, and meeting others from Services at home and abroad was great too.’


‘ … I was able to push myself out of my comfort zone and overcome personal fears. Being able to choose activities I would not usually come across on a day-to-day basis was helpful as this enabled me to develop new skills … a newly qualified firefighter I haven’t had much experience with confined spaces, therefore being able to participate in the USAR programme was very beneficial. I haven’t had a premise fire job and in all honesty, I would not have much idea of what to look for visiting the scene afterwards. Fire investigation has given me an insight as to what to look for regarding patterns of fire, source of fire, spread of fire etc.’

‘ … I didn’t know what to expect … but as soon as I got there I was put at ease, everybody was really welcoming. I enjoyed the speeches from some really inspirational women who just show that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. As for the training, I found it really beneficial to work with carbonaceous fires, to learn in a safe environment and to gain experience in different roles where I otherwise would not have had the opportunity. It was also really interesting to see how other brigades operated and to discuss procedures and obtain feedback from them. Everything I experienced I have found that I have taken back to the station and it has helped with my development.’

‘ … what I enjoyed the most was the multi incident scenario because … it was a great opportunity for me to have three more carbonaceous drills, to keep improving my team leader skills and just general BA skills, it also created a challenge as everyone I was partnered with was from different brigades they all have different procedures so it was good to be able to problem-solve … I’m quite proud of how I performed in the drills so it has definitely made me more confident. I’m now looking forward to the opportunities that may be available to me by becoming a WFS member.’

Our 20th annual event will be running from the 19-21 June 2020. To register your interest email contact@wfs.org.uk