AFSA annual conference

WMFS welcomes annual AFSA conference

More than 100 delegates from across the country are due in the West Midlands for the annual conference of the Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA).

Hosted by West Midlands Fire Service, the two-day event is being staged this Wednesday and Thursday. It will explore a wide range of organisational and operational issues affecting firefighters and staff, with a main theme of ‘Advancing equality during austerity’.

Principal speakers will include Brandon Lewis (Under Secretary of State with responsibility for fire and resilience), Vij Randeniya (Chief Fire Officer for the West Midlands and President of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association), Phil Loach (Assistant Chief Fire Officer, WMFS), plus a number of prominent academics and figures from the public and private sectors.

A series of workshops will explore issues including equality and diversity in community engagement, the importance of inclusive leadership, and safeguarding vulnerable people.

Wednesday night will see delegates and guests enjoy an evening dinner celebration of diversity and Diwali, in support of a number of charities.

CFO Randeniya said: “One of the key focuses for West Midlands Fire Service is embedding equality and diversity in everything we do - from how we operate as an employer, to how we serve and keep safe our minority communities and vulnerable residents.

“We’re delighted to host the conference for the second time, and to welcome the delegates and an impressive line-up of speakers. We’re very much looking forward to sharing some of our work with, and learning from, colleagues around the country.”

Zahoor Ahmed, Chair of AFSA, added: “We’re grateful to everyone who has made this year’s conference possible, including the delegates, the speakers who are all giving their time free of charge, and our generous sponsors.

“AFSA is going from strength to strength. By its very nature, it’s an inclusive association, which is reflected not only in our membership but in the wide range of people attending this year’s event. Our two days of knowledge sharing and networking will benefit not only fire and rescue services and their communities, but several other organisations from the public and third sectors.”

Fire stations throughout the West Midlandswill host ‘fringe’ events to coincide with the AFSA conference, working with partner organisations to explore local challenges posed by inequalities in health and well-being.

The Twitter hashtag for the conference will be #afsaconf.


Media note: Issued by Neil Spencer, Senior Media Relations Officer, West Midlands Fire Service, tel 0121 380 6101.

Regular updates on incidents and other WMFS activities can be found on the media voicebank, tel 0871 550 0056. Twitter: @WestMidsFire

Press Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 12:15