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WFS 16th National Training & Development Weekend - 17-19 June 2016

NWFS Event FlyerWe are excited to announce our 16th National Training & Development weekend hosted by the Fire Service College will be held on 17-19 June 2016.

Finalised details for the event, programme, workshop outlines and booking form are all below.

Our keynote speaker, Sally Sheen is a former Chief Executive of the Fire Service College and is currently leading on the people and culture aspects of a radical transformation programme for the police. 

Enquiries can be directed to Karen Smith at

South East Regional Development Day - a fantastic day for delegates

A fantastic day was had by all at the South East Regional Development Day, organised by the ESFRS Professional Women's Group on 12 April 2016.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer & Chief Executive Gary Walsh welcomed delegates to Maresfield Training Centre and thanked the PWG for their hard work in organising the day.

CFO Walsh also welcomed Detective Chief Superintendent Rachel Bacon of Sussex Police who gave an inspirational insight on her progression in Sussex Police.

Full review of event

UKFSC Sailing Championships April 2016

An all-women’s boat full of crew are now in training for the UKFSC Sailing Championships in April 2016 - further updates as we get them.

Publicity article

Most Influential Woman in Fire Congratulations Dany!

Huge congratulations to Dany Cotton (Assistant Commissioner LFB/WFS Chair) winner of the ‘Most Influential Woman in Fire’ award at the Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards 2015 sponsored by FIRE on Friday, 4 December 2015. 

This was a new award for 2015 where ‘The winner will demonstrate the highest standard of service, making an individual contribution that has advanced the work of the Fire and Rescue Service over the last 12 months’.

To see full details of all the great women nominated

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service appoints first ever female Chief Fire Officer - Becci Bryant

Staffordshire FRS have just announced the appointment of the UK’s first-ever female Chief Fire Officer, Becci Bryant who has risen through the ranks.

A great achievement - WFS are delighted for Becci and send their congratulations!

Fitness is for YOUR life by Kathryn Billing

I don’t know about you, but I want to live a long, very happy life and be healthy, safe and well right until the end!

Having a healthy lifestyle will give you oodles of energy and vitality and can improve your mental and physical ability during your day to day activities.

Life seems to bring with it more daily stresses than ever before, having a healthy lifestyle and looking after your well-being helps with keeping an emotional balance and staying free from disease and disorders.

Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbon walk

On the 4th July 2015, Dany, Cheryl, Nicky and myself took part in the "London at night" 10 mile Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbon walk which we all found very inspiring indeed.

London is a fabulous city at the best of times however there was something quite amazing about walking around our capital city through the evening and on into the night.


Breast Cancer Care - Serena's Journey

October was a weirdly emotional month for me. A while ago I realised that this month would mark 15 years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer and given no option but to have a double mastectomy; I was 23 at the time.

My mum was diagnosed almost two years before me at 38 and despite this, it was a fight to be taken seriously because of my age. My mum became increasingly anxious and it was only because of this that I went back and insisted I was referred.

We have both had multiple operations, my mum went through chemo and radiotherapy, and I realised that we had just got on with things without ever acknowledging what we had been through, let alone given ourselves a pat on the back.

CTIF International Commission of Women in the Fire and Rescue Services

As representative of WFS at the Fire Sector Federation, Nicola Lown attends CTIF (International Association of Fire and Rescue Services) meeting and hosts the group on their visit to London.

The Commission’s goals are to attract more women into the profession and improve conditions for those already employed in Fire and Rescue Services by sharing best practice between countries

Meet the team - Julie Gilbert-King

Jules Gilbert-King

Hello everyone, welcome to the first edition of “meet the team” My name is Jules and I have the pleasure of being Vice Chair (Learning and Development) for WFS. I have been part of WFS for a number of years, starting off as the Local Service rep for East Sussex before taking on the role of Regional rep for the South East. I was voted in as Vice Chair in 2013.

One of my main roles within WFS is to pull together a fine team of volunteers to coordinate and run the annual Training and Development weekend, and it is the most satisfying of roles to see so many Fire & Rescue Service employees attending and really getting something to take away with them, be it an opportunity to learn something new, come out of their comfort zone or increased confidence.

Essex signs up to Mind's Blue Light Pledge

On Friday 23 October Essex County Fire & Rescue Service hosted a health and wellbeing event: Positive Approach to Mental Wellbeing.

As a key stakeholder, WFS was invited to have a stand and Anne Waters delivered a presentation on how "support in the workplace can reduce stress and improve wellbeing’.

The morning included a marketplace style set up, with attendance from Fitness, HR and Learning and Development teams as well as the Firefighter's Charity, the Fire Brigades Union and local mental health services.

At the event, the Essex Fire Authority officially signed the Mind Blue Light Pledge, showing their commitment to support those who experience mental health conditions and fight the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace.

To read more about the event:

Positive approach to Mental Wellbeing Event

To find out more about Minds Blue Light Programme please visit


Emergency Services Show - 23-24 September 2015 - NEC Birmingham

We had two very successful days attending the Emergency Services Show, 23/24 September. The show gave us a great opportunity to engage with representatives from other organisations, sharing information about WFS events, training and other potential avenues for partnership working.   

Hertfordshire's Jules Hawkins, Regional Rep for the East, did a great job welcoming visitors to the WFS stand on both days; supported by Dany Cotton (Chair), Anne Waters (Treasurer), Jules Gilbert-King (Vice-Chair L&D), Caroline Anderson (Vice-Chair, Projects) and Nicola Lown (Regional Support Manager). 

Thanks to all who came to visit us, we made some excellent new contacts and were also delighted to catch up with many old friends and supporters.

Review of 15th National Training & Development weekend held on 12-14 June at the Fire Service College

The 15th National Training & Development event took place at the Fire Service College on 12-14 June with sponsorship from Bristol Uniforms. WFS welcomed 114 delegates from 30 Fire & Rescue Services.


WFS Award Presentations 2015

The 2015 WFS Award Presentations took place on Friday, 12 June at the Fire Service College.

Congratulations to the following recipients:-

Neil Withers – Ex London Fire Brigade

Linda Boar – Ex Essex Fire & Rescue Service

Peter Dartford – CFO Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service

Sharon Jakeman – East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service

Sarah Warnes – West Midlands Fire Service


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