President's call for cohesion and integration: CFOA President Phil Toase's address to conference focussed on integration and cohesion, including business continuity, national resilience, equality and diversity, and relationships with key stakeholders throughout the fire community. He also stressed the importance of CFOA's "strong links" with the devolved administrations.(FIRE CONFERENCE 2006)

CFOA Toase said that the creation of DCLG provides a great opportunity to respond to the challenges faced in supporting integration and cohesion and tackling the issues arising from an increasingly diverse society. He also praised the provision of more freedom to authorities and the move from a 'top-down state' to a 'trusting state'.

CFO Toase took the opportunity to reflect on the key topics covered in his inaugural speech in April. The Practitioners Forum, he said, continues to be re-energised and focused on the key issues of the day, ensuring that advice to the Minister is readily available. "The Forum doesn't however stand in isolation and more work needs to be done to ensure that there is some connectivity with the Business Community Safety Forum." That work is underway, he stressed, with an aim to bring the forums together every year.

On FiReControl and FiReLink, he said that CFOA remains "firmly supportive of the technological improvements."

A great deal of work has been clone on the Retained Duty System, he informed, with CFOA submitting proposals through the Practitioners Forum to ODPH and subsequently DCLG to move the Retained Review forwards. "A great deal of work has been done over the past 12 months with several regional seminars, a joint CFOA/DCLG seminar and also a workshop at this conference," he announced. …

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