Fire PRO

From the committee

Chair's blog

FirePro Chair Paul Compton

One of the biggest shifts in communications practice in recent years has been the focus on behaviour change techniques to support our messaging and actions. Truth be told, the use of psychology in PR has been around since the work of Edward Bernays in the 1920s (Edward also being the nephew of Sigmund Freud). The only difference is we now have more accurate data (and more of it!) which vastly improves our understanding of human behaviours.  

As I sit here and write this blog, it’s 31 degrees outside and over 40 in other parts of the country, leading to the first red heat warnings in history. The record-breaking temperatures the country is enduring aren’t just a fluke. The effects of the climate crisis have now led to climate scientistd heralding warnings that this is now the norm in the UK. While that may cause some to rejoice and invest in hot tubs and buckets and spades, it does raise the question of whether people in the country are prepared for the downsides of a warming climate.

It’s not just health that is impacted. For our sector, we will see increases in wildfire risk (the fire severity index is going to stay between amber and red for much of the country this week), garden fires, water incidents as people use waterways and lakes to cool down, and other behaviours that could lead to people needing our services. And that’s just the summer – other times of the year are seeing more frequent and more severe storms which raises other risks for our services.

This shows that understanding and being able to use behavioural science in our work is not just an add on, it’s a necessity as we encourage people to adopt safer practices to keep a check on the ever-growing risks posed by climate change.

There is some great work going on across fire and rescue services in this area. And we’ll be looking to provide more FirePRO training in this area, starting at the next conference where we’ll have a special behaviour change boot camp session.

And on the subject of the FirePRO Conference: it was brilliant to be able to hold an in-person event last year, which was well attended and received great feedback from those who came. We are doing it in-person again and bringing the date forward a little to avoid the busy period in November. We’re also switching venues – based on feedback from last year’s event – to give us more space and not be confined to one place. The agenda is pretty much set and we’ve got some fantastic speakers and workshops lined up. Early bird tickets are now available, so grab one quick.

Away from the conference, we have been working hard on the sector standards for communications and engagement. These went through a rigorous engagement last year and we’ve updated them based on the feedback of people involved (practitioners in the sector, comms leaders from outside the sector, and chief fire officers). We feel these are in a great place and they are now going to go through the Fire Standards Board process, which will involve consultation across the sector later this year. We’ll continue to keep you posted.

That’s all for now. Hope you’re managing to stay cool. And look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Best wishes,


Paul Compton

Chair of FirePRO and Head of Communications and Engagement at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service


Are you part of a regional FirePRO group?

FirePRO is a membership body that is free for all UK fire and rescue sector communicators. It is run by members for members. The national FirePRO committee take the lead for the sector in developing standards, representing the sector, sharing learning and of course and promoting CPD, and acts as a critical friend to NFCC and Home Office on national communications initiatives.

 Local FirePRO groups, aligned to the UK FRS region structure, then provide an opportunity for members to receive local support and guidance as well as make connections with those they may work with regularly.

Regional liaison leads on the national FirePRO committee are Emily Cheeseman (Dorset & Wiltshire) and Richard Edney (Lancashire). Emily covers the southern regions and Richard covers the regions in the north, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Over the coming weeks and months, Emily and Richard will be contacting regional committees where they have been established or encouraging new committees to form.

FirePRO suggests regional committees meet quarterly to share learning, problem solve issues, collaborate and feedback relevant issues to the national committee.

Regional FirePRO committees are open to all levels of communication staff, from communications assistant upwards and includes those with a graphic design remit. It is also open to colleagues with a shared communication role, those who cover council, police or other local authority comms.

The National FirePRO committee supports regional committees through providing training, leading the sector and representing your views at a national level as well as sharing your learning with colleagues across the country.

For more information, please contact Emily ( or Richard (

Request from our LGComms partners...

Here's a little ask from our colleagues at LGComms... 

In 2020, we introduced a diversity and inclusion mission statement along with actions we’re taking to tackle inequality. This survey has been developed as part of this ongoing work and the results will be used to support our aim of creating an inclusive future for public sector communications.

We want to understand the numbers – the demographic breakdown by protected characteristics, asking, how well does our profession reflect the communities we serve?

We also want to understand your experience. Particularly if you identify with specific characteristics, and if this has affected your career and working experience.  Are there glass ceilings? Where are they? Who do they affect?

This survey should take around 6 minutes to complete. Please submit your response by 31 July 2022.

Every completed survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 high street shopping voucher.

Click here to take part.

FirePRO events

FirePRO Conference 2022 - tickets now on sale!

The FirePRO Conference is back, again! 

And this year we are at a brand new venue with some exciting plans. 

For the main event, we will be at the Eastside Rooms. This is Birmingham's newest conference venue that, in their words, combines innovation with the city's industrial heritage. We think it's a really creative space, making it great for the biggest event of the year. 

Overnight, attendees will then be staying in the luxury Hotel Aloft, which is connected to Eastside Rooms. We feel this offers the best of both worlds - a change of scenery without having to travel far after a long day of learning. 

Here's why we think you should attend, and why your bosses should let you come:

  • The event is a rare opportunity to get out of the office and spend some time learning from others 
  • You'll get tips, tricks and differing viewpoints from over 50 attendees from fire services across the country 
  • We promise to deliver another packed agenda featuring relevant case studies, best practice guidance and general inspiration 
  • You will get the chance to network with other fire service communicators and develop working relationships that can last for years 
  • All the learning can be taken back to your teams and services to improve all areas of work
  • You'll be at the best value conference in the public sector - all meals, an overnight stay and two day conference for less than £300
  • And, finally, you'll be at the only conference nationally that is designed purely for fire service communicators

We are working hard on the agenda as we speak, and will release details as soon as we can. But, please be assured, we are basing the line up on what YOU have told us you want to learn more about and will be taking into account feedback from previous events. 

Speakers confirmed so far include:

  • South Yorkshire Fire will be sharing their TikTok journey from 0 to 125,000 followers
  • Sponsors CAN (Council Advertising Network) & Alive With Ideas will talk us through a successful diverse police officer recruitment campaign
  • Bridget Aherne (Bradford Council) and Sarah Pinch (Pinch Point Comms) will offer tips on how we can influence our senior leaders
  • Ruth Dale will be giving us an award-winning behaviour change communication masterclass
  • And lots more to come! 

The venue change isn't the only thing that will be different this year, either. 

After many years of success, we have decided 2022 is the right time to retire the FirePRO dinner and quiz. That's because we want to give attendees more free time to chat and network. Instead, we'll be putting on a bar, a 'street food' buffet and then leaving you to do your thing - perhaps with a few extra surprises thrown in for good measure. 

We will also be making a few tweaks to the UnConference. We know how much you value the opportunity to talk through common issues that may not be covered on the agenda, and we intend to keep this part of the event intact, but we are currently exploring ways we can make this more structured and beneficial to all involved. 

Should you have any questions, you can contact or contact Jack Grasby ( or Robyn Hall ( 

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