FIRE AID International Development and Humanitarian Aid Conference 2017

Wed 08, Nov, 2017

This year saw a fully booked conference as it returned to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service after the event toured the UK the last two years.

This year saw a fully booked conference as it returned to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service after the event toured the UK the last two years with successful events hosted by London Fire Brigade and Scottish Fire & Rescue Service for the first time. 

ACFO Dave Keelan welcomes delegates back to Greater Manchester FRS

Delegates received a warm welcome on their return to Manchester with opening remarks from ACFO Dave Keelan. The annual event – which enables us to shine a spotlight on the key issues facing our sector – included speakers and guests from the George Institute, Operation Sabre, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO),  Operation Florian, Changing Lives Nepal, Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST),  ARUPUniversity of Manchester, SESHAA, University of Edinburgh, and representatives from across the UK Fire & Rescue Service, FIRE AID member charities and other aid organisations.

The audience heard updates, successes and challenges from Operation Sabre, SESHAA, and Changing Lives Nepal 

The conference was moderated by Steve Jordan OBE of Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service and Operation Florian, and kicked off with an expert presentation from Dr Margie Peden of the George Institute who provided an overview of post-crash response in low and middle-income countries.  

Focusing on the theme of ‘Fire Risk Reduction in Informal Settlements and Refugee Camps’ the audience heard from 5 groups of speakers – Professor Tom Potokar OBE of the Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy & Research NIHR Global Health Research Group on Burn Trauma; Dr Helen Underhill, Nicky Thurston and Karen Rutherford from the Operation Florian Lebanon team; Darren Gill and Danielle Antonellis of ARUP; Sarah Jane Cooper of University of Edinburgh; and Dr Alfredo Stein of University of Manchester. Each group addressed issues facing inhabitants of informal settlements and refugee camps and shared what FIRE AID member organisations and others are doing to address those issues. 

Dr Helen Underhill Operation Florian talks about attending our conference and their work in Lebanon with Save the Children

The afternoon session focused on ‘Improving our Understanding of Mental Health’ with Helen Brewis from GMFRS encouraging delegates to think about psychological wellbeing before, during and after humanitarian work. 

The conference yet again provided excellent examples of how UK expertise and volunteers are addressing some of the world’s most critical challenges. It helped to forge new relationships and succeeded in engaging new audiences – highlighting these key issues to some representatives for the first time. FIRE AID would like to extend special thanks to the event hosts Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and our expert speakers and guests.  

To view the conference presentations please use the links below: 

Dr Margie Peden, The George Institute
John Monaghan, Changing Lives Nepal 
Steve Worrall and Malcolm Price, Operation Sabre (Romania)
Chris Wood and Ron Morley, SESHAA (Tajikistan)
Nicky Thurston, Helen Underhill and Karen Rutherford, Operation Florian (Lebanon) 
Prof. Tom Potokar, Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy & Research
Darren Gill and Danielle Antonellis, ARUP
Dr Alfredo Stein, University of Manchester