Despite what have proved to be some of the most difficult trading conditions for the Association and its members, a significant milestone achieved in 2009 and one which demonstrates the reputation that the FIA enjoys, was the passing of the 300 members mark. That honour went to Cwmbran Fire Protection(SW) when they joined the FIA in June, marking a growth which, as FIA Chairman Martin Harvey comments, was particularly impressive given the economic backdrop The last year has been tough for the FIA as it has for many of its members. But through hard work and organisation there have been some notable successes. One of those was reaching 300 members and I expect this number to keep on climbing. If you can increase the numbers in these recessionary times then who knows whats possible when the perfect financial storm subsides and the sun comes out again.
The Review also picks out some of the years highlights for the FIA. These included a seminar at the Houses of Parliament under the title Decisions to Take in Tough Times, an Export Colloquium at the Fire Service College and a sell-out annual conference under the banner Fire Risk Assessment the Big Question. As the main sponsor of the International Firex exhibition and conference, the FIA was also pleased to see the 2009 event buck the trend with an increase in visitor numbers over its 2007 predecessor and an excellent attendance at the Fire Excellence Awards staged during the event. The Association also turned its attention to vertical markets, notably the care homes and warehouse sectors, using a series of regional seminars to get the fire safety message across to those who need to know.
The Review features a statement from the FIA Board as well as reports from the various Councils which conduct much of the work done by the FIA: Fire Detection and Alarms; Extinguishing; Services and Export. It also includes the first review of the developments made so far in Fire Risk Assessment, established as an interim Council in November 2008 and with formal elections made to the new Council at the FIAs 2009 AGM held on 6 October at the FIAs Kingston upon Thames offices in Surrey.
Reviews of the FIAs achievements in training and marketing are included, along with details of the secretariat team and a list of the Associations member companies.
Martin Harvey concludes It has been an important year for the FIA. The fact that we have seen a significant growth in membership, despite the recession, is a good indication of the Associations reputation. With the strengthening of the secretariat team over the last two years, we are starting to reap the rewards with ever greater potential being targeted, all of which bodes well going forward.
An electronic copy of the FIA 2009 Annual Report is freely available online at www.fia.uk.com