New partnership to progress aspirational fire sector careers 

Women in the Fire Service are thrilled to be in partnership with Fire Knowledge in an alliance focused on developing diverse, talented and motivated workforces. We have committed to supporting the Practice to Progress Fire Partnership (P2P Fire) through the provision of highly skilled and passionate coaches from our network. They will take on the role of P2P Assessors, supporting selection and career progression coaching.  

Formally launched at the Emergency Services Show in Birmingham in September 2022, it is a partnership with Fire Knowledge UK, Practice to Progress, and the Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA) and aims to support the UK Fire and Rescue Service. WFS associated professionals, in their new roles as P2P Fire Assessors, will help develop and prepare people at all levels to achieve their goals and to confidently take the next steps in their careers.

This will include preparation for reapplying to enter the service or internal promotion, point-of-entry selection tests, initial wholetime and on-call firefighter recruitment, support for under-represented groups, and promotion into wholetime managerial roles.

“The alliance will work together to design and deliver training to prepare candidates for initial selection or promotion assessment. Our initial commitment is to provide six assessors who will be trained to ensure consistency, along with six assessors from AFSA. Our highly experienced assessors have been selected to enrich the experience and meet the diverse needs of organisations and individual candidates.”

“We believe that Women in the Fire Service and the Asian Fire Service Association have the power to make a significant difference in driving positive change through this partnership. Something we are all passionate about is providing safe spaces to practice, learn and develop. This is a unique opportunity to allign with other organisations and Services, to share our extensive experience and to work with future firefighters and supervisory managers.”

WFS Chair, Jules King

Liana Selecka-Jones, a Station Manager at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, and WFS Local Rep, is a P2P Fire Assessor. She is an active member of the WFS National Executive Committee, and mentors women across the country. Liana has helped deliver the WFS Future Firefighter Programme and was awarded ‘Dany Cotton Inspiring Leader’ in the WFS Awards this year.

Not only has Liana delivered workshops on applications and interview techniques, she has also created coaching workshops to support individuals applying for promotion, delivering these both regionally and nationally. Liana has been instrumental in establishing a positive action recruitment champions working group, and in supporting many colleagues within Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service through their development pathways.

P2P Assessor, Liana Selecka-Jones

“I am committed to supporting this new partnership with Practice 2 Progress, as I have been in the shoes of those looking to start their career or to advance and progress in the sector. I could not have achieved what I have done without the support of others. It took me nearly 10 years to be successful in joining the Fire and Rescue Service but I never gave up on my ambition. I believe that everyone can fulfil their true potential with the right support and encouragement in place. Now as a Station Manager, I try to remove barriers for those interested in joining the sector and moving up the ranks.”

Station Manager, Liana Selecka-Jones

Joining Liana Selecka-Jones as P2P Assessors are former Chief Fire Officer at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, Alex Johnson, Station Manager at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Kate Sands, and Firefighter at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, Jo Dawson.