The Fire Industry Association (FIA) opened its doors to over 70 invited guests on 2 July to celebrate the purchasing of new offices. The new facilities will provide a platform from which the association can continue to develop and one which will significantly enhance the associations training capabilities.
The FIA bought the new offices in Hampton, Middlesex and relocated from its previous leased premises in nearby Kingston-upon-Thames following a three month fit-out of the building to ensure it met the associations specific requirements, particularly in regard to its training offering.
FIA Chairman Martin Harvey welcomed the assembled guests, outlining the development of the FIA and its roots in the BFPSA and FETA to reach the point where it has purchased its own dedicated base. He saw this as the ideal platform to enable the association to continue to enhance its services to members, which now number over 400, and to develop its contribution to the wider fire community. CEO of the FIA, Graham Ellicott, added his welcome to the guests, encouraging members to make the most of the facility, before everybody adjourned to enjoy a splendid hog roast.
With the upper floor accommodating the FIA team responsible for the day to day running of the associations activities, the whole of the ground floor space is devoted to training. FIA General Manager Martin Duggan, who project-managed the relocation, said Our training programme has gone from strength to strength, with over 30,000 people having passed through a wide range of different courses. The training dimension was therefore critical to the move and we now have a dedicated facility which is deliberately flexible to accommodate a whole host of different options, whatever the size and format required.
The maximum capacity is 100 people theatre style (or 60 classroom style), with the capability to split the room down into four meeting rooms via sound-proofed dividers. The two smaller rooms can accommodate eight people boardroom style, with the two larger rooms offering 20 boardroom style, 30 classroom style or 35 theatre style. Each room has its own overhead projector and drop down screen.
FIA Marketing Manager Becky Reid, who arranged the open day event, said We wanted people to get a chance to have a look around a facility of which we are very proud and this informal gathering seemed a good way to do that. In addition to the training courses that we operate ourselves, we are also making the rooms available for hire, with preferential rates for members, so look forward to seeing faces, both familiar and new.