As 2019 comes to an end, we thought we would reflect and look back on what an exciting and busy year the Institution of Fire Engineers has had!
We kicked 2019 off with a record-breaking Membership Application Assessment Panel meeting. Between November 2018 and January 2019, we received more than 200 membership applications, what a great way to start the year!
In February, the IFE Board of trustees and International General Assembly visited Stratford-upon-Avon (home of IFE HQ) for their first meeting of the year.
IFE Board and IGA in Stratford-upon-Avon
The first-round of 2019 examinations took place in March. Candidates all around the world took exams in Fire Science, Operations and Safety, Passive Fire Protection and Fire Safety and Management.
At the end of November the IFE attended the Asian Fire Service Association Winter Conference in Sheffield. The event was hosted by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, and featured two packed days focusing on the topics of Diversity and Inclusion.
The event bought together leading experts, practitioners and professionals from different sectors to provide a range of informative talks and workshops on a range of subject matters. Speakers included Roy Wilshire NFCC Chair, Professor Adam Dinham from Goldsmith University of London, Ann Millington Chief Executive Kent Fire and Rescue Service and Alison Dyson from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.
The conference also had a focus on celebrating achievements and recognising good practice, with the AFSA National Awards Ceremony taking place on the 28th. This was a night dedicated to recognising the fantastic work that is happening in the fire and rescue service and celebrating the efforts of individuals, teams and organisations.
You can watch the highlights from the conference here.
In November the North East Midlands Branch hosted a CPD event with Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service. The event was a great success and sold out weeks in advance!
The diverse agenda attracted a broad audience. The event was a great opportunity for local fire services to give their fire safety personnel exposure to subjects that they wouldn’t normally have access to. As a result, the fire services made up half of the audience. The other half of the attendees included; fire engineers, fire risk assessors, smoke control contractors and many more.
The day was opened by Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer, Gavin Tomlinson. Mr Tomlinson, a longstanding member of the IFE, spoke of his pleasure that Derbyshire FRS were able to host a CPD day on behalf of the IFE North East Midlands Branch and stressed the importance of continued professional development. This was followed by the first speaker of the day, Watch Manager Dave Coss. Mr Coss, a fire investigation specialist at Derbyshire FRS, presented a summary of a fatal fire he attended back in 2015. The session was particularly thought-provoking and bought to attention key aspects in building design.
The fire season has only just begun and fires burn across the country.
Calling for evacuations along the country’s south-eastern coast, officials said next the few days would be the worst yet in an already catastrophic fire season.
Carrying out regular Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is recommended for all IFE members; however, those who are also registered with the Engineering Council (EngC) are obliged to undertake CPD as part of the registration agreement. Each year, all Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs), including the IFE, are required by the Engineering Council to select a random sample of their EngC registrants’ CPD.
The 2020 random CPD sampling process is underway, and those selected have now been contacted and asked to send in their CPD record for the last year. The CPD submissions must demonstrate that skills are being kept current and that CPD activity is relevant to fire engineering.
Commitment to CPD not only demonstrates that you maintain your professionalism but helps to maintain the reputation of the fire and engineering profession, something which is of vital importance in today’s current climate.
This year’s research event was as stimulating and eclectic as ever, with topics spanning the broad spectrum of fire. Dr Rowena Hill and Dr Anne Eyre hosted RE19 at West Midlands Fire Service HQ in Birmingham, which is a great setting for this annual gathering.
With so much going on in the fire and rescue service it was inevitable that the inspection process would be on the agenda. Academics from Nottingham Trent University shared their thoughts about the new process from HMICFRS. Without the benefit of the third and final tranche of reports or the State of Fire Report, the researchers confined themselves to the findings from the early inspections.
The IFE’s annual Rasbash Lecture took place at Surgeons’ Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 8th November. With the theme of “Investigating the physics of wildfires to help build resilience in society”, it proved a compelling insight into this topical issue. Professor Albert Simeoni provided the audience with a comprehensive overview of the challenges that our societies face and what can be done to overcome them.
The lecture was well attended with more than 100 fire professionals and students in the lecture hall as Professor Simeoni focussed particularly on the issue of Wildland-Urban Interface alongside the research that can be developed to mitigate the impact of wildfires. With a wide range of examples and a thorough insight into the different approaches to firefighting and fire management alongside the fundamentals for the drivers of fire spread and fire impact. The knowledge and exploration of these topics really brought home the advancements in research and how current capacity to predict wildfire behaviour can be improved in an ever-changing environment.
At the conclusion of the lecture, Peter Holland CBE QFSM FIFireE (Life), Vice Chairman of the IFE was on hand to present Professor Simeoni with the prestigious Rasbash Memorial Medal.