By kind permission of the Lord Speaker, FIRE AID hosted its launch event at the River Room on 5th June 2014. The reception, which was attended to full capacity, was hosted by EASST’s Chair Lord Dubs of Battersea and included representatives from political, diplomatic, fire and rescue, humanitarian aid and international spheres as well as FIRE AID’s founding members. Guests included Gus Schaefer and Judith Stone of the Board of Trustees of Underwriters Laboratories – who work to advance fire safety technology and procedures – who travelled from the USA to attend the event.

Guests heard speeches from FIRE AID Chair Jim Fitzpatrick MP, FIRE AID Patron Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, Deputy President of the Chief Fire Officers Association Peter Dartford, and Director of the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST) Emma MacLennan.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP spoke of his commitment to FIRE AID and his admiration of volunteer UK firefighters who deliver aid internationally

As Chair of the Commission for Global Road Safety, Lord Robertson focused on the emergency response to road traffic collisions and the vital role that fire services can play, given the right equipment and training, in reducing the number of global road deaths. Lord Robertson informed guests that if road fatalities continue to occur at the present rate, the total number of deaths recorded in the 21st century will be greater than the total number of deaths recorded during all the wars of the 20th century – a truly shocking figure, particularly given that road traffic collisions are preventable.

Peter Dartford, Vice President of CFOA, spoke of CFOA’s support of FIRE AID in recognising it as an association that promotes good practice in the delivery of emergency services aid in all its forms including development of written best practice guidance, promotes the work of its members, and acts as a general communications hub for requests for aid.

His endorsement was welcomed by the FIRE AID Steering Committee as an important step in its development. Guests also heard from Emma MacLennan, Director of EASST and a founder member of FIRE AID, who spoke about a recent project in Moldova and the impact it has had on the Moldovan Fire Service in support of the aims of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. 

Moldovan firefighters demonstrate use of their training and new equipment (May, 2014)

FIRE AID would like to thank Baroness D’Souza for her kind hospitality in holding the event, Lord Dubs of Battersea for his hosting of the reception, and all those who attended.  For further information about how you can get involved please use the following link: Membership