NFCC experience at WFS Training and Development Event 2023

National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) is delighted to become a corporate member of Women in the Fire Service. With similar commitments and priorities, we have a shared dedication to advancing safety and a comprehensive understanding of the sector’s challenges and potential. This partnership is well-positioned to drive significant positive change while placing a strong emphasis on creating an inclusive and equitable work environment. We look forward to working together to support and build on the fantastic successes of Women in the Fire Service.

NFCC had the pleasure of sending five members of staff to the WFS training development in June 2023. Each colleague gave glowing reviews of the weekend and encouraged other colleagues to get involved with WFS. Please see below for an insight from Sarah Brown, Head of Prevention for NFCC and her experience.

Tell us about yourself

Hello, I’m Sarah, I am extremely determined and strong-willed, always seeking out the next challenge. Nearly three years ago, I embarked on a fitness journey, despite starting as a non-runner, non-cyclist, and having my roots in school club swimming. Through rigorous physical and mental training, I transformed into a triathlete, taking on exhilarating challenges along the way. Most recently, I was fortunate to be selected as a representative for The Firefighter’s Charity in the London Marathon 2024.

In my professional life, I come from a background in children’s social care, which allowed me to deepen my passion for prevention and contribute to my overarching goal of enhancing community safety. Three years ago, I stumbled upon an incredible opportunity that strongly aligned with my values and aspirations. This opportunity involved joining the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), focusing on the Prevention sector. My transferrable skills were recognised by the NFCC and I was successful in achieving the position as senior project manager. Fast forward three years, and I now proudly hold the position of Head of Prevention within the NFCC, and have guided the programme into business as usual, leading a remarkable team in the Prevention Hub.

What workshops did you participate in? How did you find the experience?

I had a wonderful experience during the Women in Fire Service (WFS) weekend. I took part in operational workshops, specifically in Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and the role of a Firefighter. It was an inspiring experience, and I had the opportunity to meet incredible individuals whose stories left a lasting impact on me.

What have you gained from the event? How has attending benefited you personally?

Attending this event was a significant learning experience for me. It expanded my understanding of the multifaceted responsibilities of Firefighters. Witnessing those in operational roles in action further deepened my respect for their dedication, inspiring me to contemplate my future career steps. Working for a remote organisation, I also cherished the opportunity to bond with my NFCC colleagues during this event.

What advice would you offer to someone attending the event as a delegate? Would you recommend it?

My advice to fellow delegates is to push your boundaries and choose workshops that challenge you. Engage in conversations with everyone you meet and actively participate in the event’s activities. Absolutely, I wholeheartedly recommend attending the event.

Sum up the event in 3 words…

Inspiring, diverse, and reflective.

Donate to Sarah’s Fundraiser here

Interested in our event 2024? Click here to find out more

Find out more about NFCC here

WFS Celebrate Success as “Team of the Year”

In a momentous achievement, Women in the Fire Service (WFS) proudly won the esteemed “Team of the Year” title at the 9th Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards. Not only this, but WFS received a nomination for “Training Provider of the Year”. This recognition was a testament to the collective dedication and hard work of the entire WFS community.

WFS Team of the Year Award

The awards ceremony, held on 1st December at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London, served as the prefect setting to honour excellence within the fire and emergency services sector. WFS, represented across various categories, showcased the breadth of its impact. Regional Representative Caz Whiteman (South Yorkshire FRS) was nominated for Most Influential LGBTQ+ Individual, while Local Representative Jo Dawson (Nottinghamshire FRS) was a nominee for Most Influential Woman of the Year.

The celebration continued as WFS proudly sponsored the Youth Champion Award, which was awarded to Coral Jobson from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

One of WFS’s Directors, Kath Billing (Chief Fire Officer at Cornwall FRS), received the esteemed title of Most influential Woman of the Year, which we are incredibly proud of. She is a inspirational role model for young women and a perfect example of ‘if you can see it, you can be it’

The awards ceremony was attended by WFS staff and representatives, who were ecstatic to hear the announcement of their win. The occasion was summed up by Administration Manager Karen Smith, who celebrated her 20 year anniversary working for WFS this year. Karen expressed how honoured she felt attending the awards and characterised the day as a wonderful celebration. She said, “I didn’t expect us to win, especially in such a tough category. We are collecting this award on behalf of everyone involved in WFS across the country – we couldn’t do it without your support.”

WFS Staff at the awards ceremony

The recognition at the Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards not only highlights WFS’s achievements but also serves as an inspiration for continued dedication to promoting diversity, excellence, and empowerment within the fire service community. As WFS continues to make strides in its mission, this accolade stands as a testament to the organisation’s commitment to fostering positive change.

WFS exhibiting at The Emergency Services Show

We are thrilled to be exhibiting at The Emergency Services Show on 19-20 September 2023 at the NEC, Birmingham.

The Emergency Services Show is the UK’s annual showcase for the blue light sector, bringing frontline operational personnel, strategic decision-makers and tech solution specialists from the police, fire & rescue, ambulance and search & rescue services to discover innovative technology and operational solutions, share their experiences and unite in their collaborative approach to public safety. The show attracts over 14,000 visitors, features 550+ exhibitors, live demonstrations, free CPD-accredited content and exclusive networking opportunities. New for 2023, The Emergency Tech Show will run alongside The Emergency Services Show, and offer more opportunities to discover the next generation of emergency tech for the sector.

Registration and parking is FREE and will give you access to both shows.

Come and see us in the Collaboration Zone, Hall 4 Stand F14 to find out how you can support us to inspire and enable women to build a more progressive fire and rescue service.

Visit the website for more information www.emergencyuk.com

Sponsored: MSA Safety

Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. The company’s comprehensive product line is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, the construction industry, mining and the military. 

Bristol Uniforms, the high-performance fire protective clothing manufacturer, is now part of the MSA family. The combined expertise of Bristol Uniforms and MSA Safety enhance and strengthen its offering to fire and rescue customers. At MSA, they pride themselves on listening to the needs of firefighters on the ground and providing them with innovative solutions and technologies.

 “MSA Safety is proud to be Headline Sponsor for this event. Having been involved for over 10 years we have seen how the event has continued to evolve and grow to the size it is today. It is an amazing opportunity for women from all areas of the Fire Service to meet, share experiences and, above all, inspire or be inspired by, others.”

We thank MSA Safety for their support and dedication to enhancing the progression of women in the fire service and championing gender equality. Together, we are fostering a more inclusive and equal future for all.

To find out more about the MSA Bristol range, click here

For more information about our event: Click here.

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting in 2024? Get in touch.

Sponsored: PBI Performance

We are thrilled to have PBI Performance Products as one of our event sponsors of our National Training and Development Event 2023.

PBI fabrics are renowned for their exceptional flame resistance and thermal protection from radiant heat.  They are favoured by firefighters around the world.

All PBI outer fabrics including PBI Gold, PBI Matrix, PBI Max, Gemini XTL, Titan 1260 and Ibena X55 are lightweight and strong and achieve high flame resistance. They will not become brittle, shrink or break open when exposed to flame and high temperatures. 

PBI’s ‘next to skin’ fabrics include PBI TriGuard, which delivers excellent protection against heat, flash fire and arc flash, as well as PBI BaseGuard, a flame resistant, no melt, no drip economical moisture wicking base layer.

“PBI is proud to support the Women in Fire Service National Training and Development Event which provides a unique environment for skills development, inspiring delegates to discover their potential and network with like-minded fire professionals.”

Ian Callaghan, PBI Performance Products

We are grateful for PBI’s support. Their partnership has showed their commitment to improve progression of women in the fire service and support gender equality.

For more information about our sponsor: Click here.

For more information about our event: Click here.

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting in 2024? Get in touch.

WFS Women Firefighters Climb Snowdon in Support of Charity

Over 130 women from a number of Fire and Rescue Services across the UK took part in the challenge of climbing Snowdon to raise valuable funds for The Firefighters Charity, that provides lifelong support for members of the Fire and Rescue service community.

Organised by Daisy Byron, our East Regional Rep, she coordinated representatives from over 25 services from all over the UK. They all took part in the challenge to raise funds for the charity, which aims to empower individuals to achieve mental, physical, and social wellbeing throughout their lives.

The challenge came as the charity looks to raise funds to continue its support services and empower individuals within the fire services community to maintain their mental and physical health.

Many women who participated in the challenge either had personal connections with the charity or dedicated their efforts in memory of someone. They expressed how the experience had a profound emotional effect on them and described it as an amazing achievement.

WFS are proud to have supported such an incredible challenge, special thanks to Daisy our East Regional Rep for organising and everyone who took part.

They have reached their target of £5000, which is incredible. It’s not too late to make a donation, you can do so by clicking on the following link: WFS Snowdon is fundraising for The Fire Fighters Charity (justgiving.com)

Notice of the Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Women in the Fire Service with company registration number 06577352 and whose registered address is 47 Pashley Road, Eastbourne, England, BN20 8DY will be held during the National Training and Development Event at the Fire Service College, Moreton in Marsh.

On:      11th June 2023

At:        0915 am

At the AGM, you, as a member who is entitled to vote at the AGM, will be asked to consider and vote on the following resolution/s below.  

RESOLUTIONS

  1. An ordinary resolution to appoint the Auditor

By order of the Board

………………………………..

[Company Secretary]

Miriam Heppell

……………………………….

Women in the fire service firing up future careers

In January, Women in the Fire Service ran the first ‘WFS Futures’ online event, ‘Introduction to the Fire and Rescue Service’. Nearly forty members of the public joined the session to seek advice and tips on future fire sector careers. The event was a positive action event, specifically aimed at groups of people currently under-represented in the Service.

Continue reading “Women in the fire service firing up future careers”