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New group to improve public and firefighter safety through research collaboration to be chaired by NTU

A new group which aims to improve public and firefighter safety by maximising the benefits of academic research relevant to fire and rescue services is to be chaired by a Nottingham Trent University (NTU) researcher.

Professor Rowena Hill
Professor Rowena Hill

The independent Academic Collaboration, Evaluation and Research Group – ACER - has been convened by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and will be chaired by Dr Rowena Hill, Professor of Resilience, Emergencies and Disaster Science at NTU’s School of Social Sciences.

Professor Hill has been formally invited to join ACER due to her extensive research experience and expertise related to fire and rescue, including projects on firefighter wellbeing and fire service resilience.

ACER has been established to create better national links between fire and rescue services through the conduit of NFCC and academia and will help to coordinate and maximise the benefits of relevant academic research.

The group – formed of representatives from a range of academic disciplines that have relevance to fire and rescue services - will provide an ethical approach to research partnerships and potential research funding. It also aims to improve the gathering, reviewing and analysis of research findings and set them into context for NFCC and/or fire and rescue services.

ACER has already created a database for individuals to submit information on research that is in development or has been completed so that it can be collated and published on the NFCC website and made more accessible to academia and fire and rescue services.

Professor Hill said: “Many local relationships exist between services and academic institutions, and specific research has been commissioned and completed, but this is only of benefit if it is known about.

“What has been missing is the ability for services to see what useful research may already be available to them to prevent duplication, or for research requirements to be collated, reviewed and prioritised against national needs rather than just local, and potentially quite bespoke needs.”

Sitting as Vice-Chair of ACER will be Justin Johnston, Chief Fire Officer from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and NFCC Vice-Chair.

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Published on 20 April 2023
  • Category: Research; School of Social Sciences