Fire PRO

From the committee

Welcome from the FirePRO Chair

ChairStill feeling happy? Still got your voice?

I can't say I've felt constantly happy since our conference in November, but I've definitely started to notice the times when I can see people really understanding what I'm saying - and more importantly actually agreeing. For me, there's nothing more rewarding than giving great communications advice, seeing it turn into action and deliver results. 

For those of you who didn't make it to the conference let me explain: this time round we opened the event with a sing-a-long to Pharrell's "Happy". I have to confess to feeling mildly anxious about hiring an opera singer to be our keynote speaker and whether members of FirePRO would be up for something a bit different. It turns out Alex and Bridget had far more trust in our membership's willingness to move out of their comfort zones than I did...(who knew we could sing so well!)

But Sarah's session, "different ways to have a voice and have an impact", not only had us on our feet singing (there's evidence above!) it got us talking and thinking about how we can use our voice in our organisation to help challenge, support change and be recognised for the contribution we make.

When organisations really try to hear what their communications staff tell them, they enjoy greater staff engagement, better results and stronger reputations. But how do we get our organisations to hear us? By being in the right places, talking to the right people, being credible and demonstrating our experience and knowledge: by having a voice.

Getting more involved in projects together through FirePRO can help you find that voice. Or, if you think you have a voice already, help you keep it and nurture it by learning from others. We talked a lot at the conference about how we can maintain momentum between events and really start to deliver useful work together. 

In this edition of the newsletter you'll find a summary of the conference feedback as well as information about what workstreams have come about. Each has a nominated lead and an outline plan which you can download here. Each of the projects is reliant on volunteers to make something happen and if you've already volunteered...many thanks! If you want to influence what each group looks at or if you want to get involved in developing something we can all benefit from, then use your voice constructively and volunteer to be a member of one of the working groups, there's room for more.

There'll be an update on workstream progress in the next issue of the newsletter. In the meantime, as we enter another testing period of continued industrial action, proposals for terms and conditions change and a new Government, to quote Sarah " Never forget you are an amazeball of awesomeness!"

Kathy Stacey
Head of Corporate Communications, Lancashire FRS
FirePRO Chair

PS. There's more feedback from the conference in this issue and we've started to plan this year's event which will be on 24 and 25 November. 

What is FirePRO?

FirePRO is the only network dedicated to supporting the work of communication staff working within the UK fire and rescue service.

Membership is free and if you work for a fire service in a marketing, communication, press office or internal engagement role you are already a member.

Media scrum

FirePRO's role is to promote the role of the communication profession within the fire service, supporting collaboration, encouraging the sharing of best practice and promoting the rigorous evaluation of our work.

FirePRO is led by a national committee, supported by regional networks. As well as organising an annual conference, featuring a range of speakers from within and outside the fire service, the committee has a number of workstreams requiring input.

FirePRO is entirely dependent on what its members put into the network and cannot survive on the work of just a handful of individuals. For more information on how you can get involved, or if you know someone else who you think should be receiving this newsletter, contact Alex Mills or James Morton

Or if you have something you would like to submit for inclusion in this newsletter, the distribution schedule for 2015 is as follows:

  • Spring edition- copy deadline end of April, issued May
  • Summer edition- copy deadline end of July, issued August
  • Autumn edition- copy deadline end of October, issued November 

Who does what?

FirePRO is run by a national committee of representatives from a broad range of fire services across the UK. The committee is never closed to new members and actively welcomes fellow fire service communicators to join its ranks. Currently, committee members are:

Member FRS Role Workstream Area
Kathy Stacey Lancashire Chair Emergency planning
Bridget Aherne Nottinghamshire Vice Chair Membership development
Alex Mills South Yorkshire Vice Chair Elect Research, insights and evaluation
Michelle Atkinson Tyne & Wear Membership development
James Bladon Avon
Hayley Douglas Cambridgeshire Digital engagement
Phillip Gillingham Staffordshire Campaigns
Vicky Hardman London
James Morton Hampshire Conference
Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life