A word from the FirePro Committee Chair
It is often said that in evolution, it’s not about survival of the fittest, but survival of those who adapt.
And so we find ourselves as a sector and a profession continually striving to adapt to changes around us and take those evolutionary steps.
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With the final round of HMICFRS reports due out later this year, an uncertain national political situation, and ongoing change projects, the sector is certainly being kept on its toes.
I’m a firm believer that with all change, comes opportunity. And that’s where the sector and we as communicators need to grasp the opportunities change brings. Because any change needs good communications, and our leaders are looking to us to support them through these times.
FirePRO has been adapting too. Over the course of the year, we have worked to strengthen the National Committee membership and clearly define our purpose.
This is so that we can focus our energy on activities that will help communicators across the sector adapt, develop and make the biggest impact.
This includes setting the standard for good communications in the sector, working with members and leaders to firmly embed communications as a strategic management function, opening doors to training and development opportunities for all fire and rescue communicators, and working closely with our partners in the NFCC and Home Office as a critical friend on national campaigns.
The first step for us is to understand what the world is like for communicators across the sector. And I’d like to thank everyone who has completed the sector-wide survey.
The insights you provide in the survey will help us to target our plans and training at the areas that will benefit you the most. It will also help us to look at how we grow FirePRO in the future to best support you as members. If you haven’t completed it yet, there’s still time! See details below.
Next up will be the annual FirePRO conference. Following on from 2018’s action-packed event, this year’s is going to be longer, have more interactive sessions than ever, and focus on some great topics linked to the sector as well as wider communications learning and discussion.
Early bird tickets are now on sale and details of speakers and sessions will be announced in coming weeks. We’ll also be announcing a further programme of training events in the new year. Watch this space!
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Head of Communications and Engagement, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, and Chair of FirePRO
During the first six months of the year, the FirePRO National Committee has been in workshop mode to look at how we are structured and focused to best support the sector.
The result of this is our new constitution. This is a formal document which sets out how FirePRO is governed. The national committee was previously made up of chairs of regional committees. But with frequent changes to comms leads in these areas and low representation in others, the committee had reduced to a small committed group. Now, the committee is made up of people from across the country who have committed to be involved.
Download and read the FirePRO Constitution PDF 98.7KB
With a strong national structure, we feel we’re in a better place to support members beyond training events and the FirePRO Conference. We’re also in a better place to now look at supporting regional FirePRO groups and will be looking to bolster these soon.
The national committee membership is:
- Paul Compton, chair (Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue)
- Jack Grasby, vice chair (South Yorkshire)
- Robyn Hall, co-ordinator (Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue)
- Elizabeth Curtis, treasurer (East Sussex Fire and Rescue)
- Katie Round, events co-ordinator (Hampshire Fire and Rescue)
- Pete Richardson, member communications (London Fire Brigade)
- Richard Edney, partnerships (Lancashire Fire and Rescue)
- Alex Mills, local government partnerships (South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue)
- Antony Masters, police partnerships (Kent Fire and Rescue)
- Louise Knox/Emily Cheeseman (Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue)
- Sarah Irving (Cleveland Fire and Rescue)
- Rebecca Meredith (South Wales Fire and Rescue)
The constitution also sets out our aims to support sector communicators. Every fire and rescue communicator is automatically enrolled as a member of FirePRO. As a membership body, we’re here to make sure you have the best opportunity to thrive in your role. That means working with members and leaders across the sector to promote communications best practice, to provide learning and development opportunities for all members, to work closely with partners, such as NFCC, Home Office, HMICFRS, local government, other blue light services and unions, and be a voice for the sector by advocating for and championing the work of sector communications teams.
The national committee will launch a workplan later this year and programme of events for 2020.