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.
Dr Graham Smith, a principal fire engineer at Jacobs Engineering, followed on from this with a talk on the importance of fire safety design for the whole life-cycle of buildings. Dr Smith drew on fantastic examples from his career to bring real substance to his topic.
The afternoon session started with Thomas Bowens, a smoke control design engineer for Advanced Smoke Group. Mr Bowens provided an introduction on the different smoke control options available to designers. Area Manager Rob Taylor of Derbyshire FRS then concluded the day with a presentation on the Toddbrook Reservoir dam incident that took place at Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire. Mr Taylor spoke on the dynamics of the incident, the risks posed and the actions taken to resolve the danger. This once-in-a-lifetime incident provided a real test for all involved but provided unique learning opportunities that Mr Taylor was able to share with the audience.
After the event, Watch Manager Rob Leverton reflected on the successful event saying; “we are delighted that we could host an event like this in conjunction with the IFE North East Midlands Branch. It’s a great opportunity for our employees to hear from speakers across all aspects of the fire sector. It’s equally vital that the fire industry continually learns and develops and we are pleased that we can be part of that process. I hope that this is an event that we can repeat in the future.”