Fire sector leaders look to the future in new FIA anthology

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has launched a new anthology of future-thinking ideas penned by leaders in the fire sector

Titled ‘Fire Future Today’, the thought-provoking collection of essays sees 12 leaders in the fire sector present their vision for advancing fire safety and preparedness.

Essay topics range from the changing face of fire safety, breaking down silos in the industry, planning Gateway one, generative AI, social housing, health and wellbeing, climate change, and EDI. Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire, Chris Philp MP also considers how sector-wide collaboration is key to “harness our shared aims of a safer UK”.

Core to the potential we see in advancing tech is its use to analyse emerging trends, predict risks, and avoid hazards before they ever come to pass,” he writes.

Of note is an essay penned by Justice4Grenfell founder, Yvette Williams MBE, who highlights the key lessons that still need to be fully learned following the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire: “I am an optimist. The final inquiry report is due in April 2024 after a series of delays, and all of us at Justice4Grenfell have seen enough in the past six and a half years to believe that the processes and technologies already exist to ensure that no community ever goes through what happened at ours after Grenfell.”

Examining how generative AI could revolutionise firefighting, Dr Chris Xiaoxuan Lu, Assistant Professor at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, details ongoing trials with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service utilising innovative technologies such as AI helmets.

In 2024, generative AI stands as a beacon of innovation in fire safety. Its ability to transform and relay information across various formats revolutionises how we approach firefighting and prevention.

Here is the full list of contributors featured in the anthology:

  • Chris Philp MP, Minister of State (Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire)
  • Sir Ken Knight, Former London Fire Commissioner and Government Chief Fire Advisor for England
  • Yvette Williams MBE, Justice4Grenfell Founder
  • Mark Wilson, HSE Operational Lead For Policy And Planning Gateway One
  • Steve Hamm, Institution of Fire Engineers CEO
  • Dr Jill Tolfrey, The Fire Fighters Charity CEO
  • Cllr Frank Biederman, LGA Fire Services Management Committee Chair
  • Cllr Jane Hugo, LGA Fire Services Management Committee Equalities Advocate
  • Andy Frankum, National Social Housing Fire Strategy Group Chair
  • Dr Chris Xiaoxuan Lu, School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh
  • Steve McGuirk CBE, Fire Sector Federation Executive Officer
  • Mark Hardingham, National Fire Chiefs Council Chair

FIA CEO, Ian Moore says: “As CEO of the Fire Industry Association, one of my most important roles is to challenge our fire sector to find ways we can collectively improve fire safety. Both now, and into the future.

One of the key themes emerging from this series of essays is the urgent need for us all to collaborate more effectively, for the benefit of all - removing any divides between the private and public sectors of UK fire safety.”

You can view the free-of-charge publication here.