International focus and greater influence for IFE.(Conference Report)

'Fire engineering for the global village ... sharing solutions on an international basis' was the theme of this year's Institution of Fire Engineers AGM and Conference held in Dublin, Ireland. Incoming International President William Peterson was adamant that the institution needed a global focus, particularly in respect to developing strategic partnerships to impact government policy and promote further growth

Speaking at the AGM outgoing International President John Judd informed delegates of the strategic improvements the institution has made over the last 12 months, playing a greater role in influencing government policy, both in the UK and around the world.

General Assembly Chair Dennis Davis echoed this when he stated that there is a constant process of political involvement around the world, pointing to Australia and China as areas where there is a great deal of influence in policy. "We should really collect and distribute that information," he suggested, "but we tend to be introverted and think of ourselves only in terms of the UK." This was a theme Mr Peterson would return to.

However, Mr Judd did say that the institution is now more externally focused in developing links and influencing fire policy of governments. He pointed to the strong links with the International Association of Fire Chiefs in the US, the work the Hong Kong branch is undertaking with the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers, and in the UK, membership on the Practitioners Forum as well as providing input to the Regulatory Reform Order and the White Paper. He also pointed to the forthcoming move to the Fire Service College as a positive action, especially as it moves them closer to the Fire Protection Association and the government's intention of making the Fire Service College the centre of excellence for the UK Fire Service.

Mr Peterson reiterated this in his inaugural address, adding that CFOA were also considering locating offices there, which would strengthen ties with that association. …

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