Yorkshire chiefs speak at national conference
A conference looking to share knowledge and explore engaging with diverse businesses to encourage them to make fire safety laws a top priority has been held.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) representatives were among 100 people attending the day-long event held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool last month.
The ‘Engaging with Diverse Businesses for Fire Safety Compliance’ conference was jointly hosted by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, the Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA), the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).
WYFRS’ Balvinder Singh Bains, from the Business Support Team within the Fire Protection group, delivered a presentation alongside a colleague from Leeds City Council’s Migration Partnership, Commissioning Officer, Pria Bhabra.
Examples of innovative fire protection work with newly arrived groups and migrants were studied and best practice was shared among the fire safety practitioners.
Meanwhile, equality and diversity professionals were also in attendance and spoke on how to overcome barriers when engaging with businesses set up in diverse communities.
Speaking after the conference, Balvinder said: “I was really proud to be representing West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service at this conference.
“More importantly I wanted to show that partnership working is just as effective when dealing with fire safety issues in public and commercial places. We’ve done a lot of great work around fire safety in the home, I now want to do this with our local businesses.
“I’ve been working closely with Pria for the last six months and she has introduced me to various communities, some of whom are new to our region and who are really keen to learn and implement fire safety so that their businesses and groups can prosper whilst keeping people safe in their premises.
“I believe our region has a fantastic flavour of diversity and hopefully I have demonstrated that we fully embrace that.”
In August Mr Bains was invited to give a Fire Safety input to the Swahili community and other newly arrived groups at the Tech North Community Centre in Leeds.
The event was arranged in conjunction with Pria and the audience consisted of individuals who were looking to establish their own businesses and support networks.
“I really enjoyed meeting this group of individuals,” Balvinder added. “So many questions were asked and it was evident that fire safety will play an important part in any commercial or public enterprise they wish to undertake in the future.
“Recently, gather-ings and large scale celebrations had been taking place in these communities where fire safety had not been properly considered. We can now change this.”