Page 4 - July 2019
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The WCoFF Fire Lecture 2019
A good turn out for the return of the Fire Lecture
 The picture shows our Master, Andrew Mayes JP, together with Jim Pauley (Left) and Roy Wilsher (Right).
 Our Fire Lecture made a welcome return this year and drew a very large audience to the Aviva Building in the City. Organised by Liveryman Peter Holland the theme was Future Fire Policy – The Way Forward? The event was held on April 30th and was generously hosted by Aviva in their superbly appointed auditorium and reception area.
We were welcomed on behalf of Aviva by Owen Whelan, Chief Technical Underwriter for Aviva UK Commercial Business, following which Peter Holland introduced our chairman for the evening Jonathan O’Neill. Jonathan is a Freeman of our Company and is the Managing Director of the Fire Protection Association. Recently he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fire Industry Association.
The two keynote speakers were Jim Pauley, President and CEO of the National Fire Protection Association, based in the USA
and Roy Wilsher, Chairman of the National Fire Chiefs Council, a UK- wide body.
Jim Pauley started by emphasising the vision of the NFPA in the elimination of death, injury, property and economic loss, due to fire, electrical and related hazards. He pointed out that all of us in the audience, drawn from a wide variety of fire-related backgrounds, were key components in reaching that vision. Roy Wilsher, gave an overview of the Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem according to the NFCC. This included competence, enforcement, a residents’ voice, data and well-regulated third-party accreditation. Roy stated that NFCC agreed with the vast majority of the Hackitt recommendations and had played a substantial role in shaping those recommendations.
NFCC did, however, have concerns about the scope of the review, with this scope being expanded to places in which vulnerable people reside, e.g. hospitals and
specialised housing.
The Joint Competent Authority needed clarifying and the overlaps and gaps in the Housing Act and Fire Safety Order needed to be rectified. NFCC were clear that they did not think the cladding system at Grenfell complied with Building Recommendations which say - The external walls of the building shall adequately resist the spread of fire over the walls. Roy went on to demonstrate how the NFCC foundation programmers and Improvement Framework were being further developed to help improve the services Fire and Rescue Services provide to all our communities.
After the presentations there was a lively and extended Q&A session, expertly chaired by Jonathan O’Neill, following which we adjourned for refreshments and convivial conversation.
Against a background of some recent catastrophic fires world- wide, Jim posed the question – why can we not get the right elements of fire safety correct? He went on to describe fire safety as an ecosystem, and elaborated on this theme using an eight component model developed by the NFPA, which could be used to model thinking on fire safety. The model included elements such as Government Responsibility, Referenced Standards and an Informed Public.
The model can be viewed at
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David Holt, PRM Committee and Events Committee

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