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.
What a year for the Membership and Registration team at IFE House! In terms of new membership numbers and increased numbers of registrants (for both the Fire Risk Register of Assessors and the Engineering Council Register) we have surpassed all expectations. So, a HUGE thank you to all the dedicated volunteers and staff involved in all the processes.
Which brings me neatly on to mention Patrick Hamblin CbuildE FCABE IEng CFIFireE. Patrick has decided to step down from his volunteering role and fully retire after a dedicated and long career in the fire sector which started over 50 years ago. We all owe Patrick a massive debt of gratitude for his service to the IFE, particularly for the Fire Risk Register of Assessors. Patrick has served on the IFE’s Fire Risk Register of Assessor Panel, and as a volunteer reviewer and interviewer for many years. He has been instrumental in training up new volunteers, being involved in various standards committees, and representing IFE in many different organisations.
On 3rd June, the IFE appointed Roy Bishop OBE QFSM FIFireE as Acting Chief Executive. IFE International Head Quarters also welcomed Steve Hamm MSc BEng(Hons) CEng FIFireE as Programme Manager. Steve will be supporting the team at International Head Quarters in the various current projects, including OMAP (more information about progress with this in your e-newsletter).
Steve will be working alongside Roy, as they ensure that the current growth of members and interest in the Institution continues unabated given there is greatly increased interest in professional competence and standards post the Grenfell tragedy. We’re delighted to have them on board.
The design, content and functionality have now been assembled within our testing portal and test database for the Member (MIFireE) grade online application process and is currently going through an extensive testing phase. The Membership and Registration team, Finance team and the Membership Applications Assessment Panel have all been involved in the testing, as well as other key stakeholders.
Testing is taking place with a product that is now starting to look, feel and function similarly to how we anticipate the final application process to work. Testing groups have been providing feedback to ensure that it is fit for purpose and provides an enhanced application experience for potential new members submitting applications via the MyIFE portal.
Applicants who are new to the IFE will soon be able to register and apply for MIFireE online via the new and improved MyIFE portal. Changes are also coming for the membership and registration pages of our website, with updated information and guidance to assist applicants with their journey to membership.
Further OMAP updates will be issued in the e-news and the IFP journal to keep members updated on the progress of this project.
IFE Chair Grant Lupton AFSM B.GS CPMgr FAIM CFIFireE has announced that the Board co-opted Chris Lowther, CFO Tyne and Wear FRS (UK), as a Director and Trustee of the Institution.
Chris started his career as an operational firefighter based at Gateshead Community Fire Station in 1997. After joining the Strategic Management Team in 2009, he worked as an Area Manager before being appointed, in 2013, Assistant Chief Officer, assuming overall responsibility for services across five districts, operations, community safety and fire safety. With a varied background encompassing training, community safety and operations, Chris has taken a lead role in a number of national resilience programmes. He took up his CFO appointment in April 2017.
Following on from a successful set of International General Assembly (IGA) and Board meetings in February, I wanted to ask all members to consider how they interact with their branches.
Although I have outlined below how the IGA works, there will be a fuller report in the May edition of the IFP journal. For this short piece I ask that all members consider how much they value the IFE in their professional capacity because I think we need to establish what drives an individual to join the IFE?
Is it because they need to prove competence? Is it about improving professional competence? Could it be that they need to have an IFE qualification so they can get on the promotion trail? Maybe it’s the CPD events and meeting like-minded people. Or perhaps it’s just because everyone likes a badge!
The IFE has recently welcomed two new starters to IFE international HQ.
Christina Chamberlain joined the IFE in January as Education Administrator, dealing with exams, recognitions and CPD enquiries within the Education Department.
Over the last 18 years Christina has lived in the UK, Dubai and Greece and worked for a variety of companies including multinationals, charities and statutory levy boards.
Ritu Tiwari also joined the organisation in January as the Marketing and Communications Administrator. Ritu said:
“I am looking forward to being an integral part of the communication and creative team. After working in India for traditional and digital media agencies, I am excited to work in the same stream in the UK and look forward to contributing my experience and facing new challenges.”