Landmark agreement will see fire research shared between Canada and UK

Research and data which focuses on reducing fire risk will now be developed and shared across international boundaries.

This follows a landmark agreement between the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada and the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) in the United Kingdom.

Both organisations have programs which support fire research. Launched on February 1st, the research-sharing agreement will see the two parties regularly exchanging fire-related data and research results, conducting joint research, participating in faculty and student exchanges, and seeking international funding for new research.

On behalf of CFOA, Deputy Chief Officer Neil Odin said: “There is an amazing amount of fire-related research being undertaken around the world and we are delighted to be able to sign this first agreement with our partners at the University of Fraser Valley in Canada,”. “This is an important step in helping to reduce the risk from fire in all our communities, with research leading the way in evidence-based decision making.”

The agreement marks the first formal research-sharing initiative between fire researchers in Canada and fire and rescue services in the UK. It marks the first formal research-sharing initiative between fire researchers in Canada and UK Fire and Rescue Services.

“The University of the Fraser Valley is pleased to be working with the Chief Fire Officers Association of the UK in this important endeavour,” said UFV Associate Vice President, Adrienne Chan. “We believe that the dissemination of information strengthens the ability to take action on research results.”

Anticipated benefits include the improved use of existing resources, greater access to international fire research and data, and development of new data and best practices that would not otherwise have occurred.

At the heart of the agreement is a shared belief in the importance of gathering and leveraging data in order to promote more effective and efficient public services.

The CFOA’s Integrated Data and Research Programme brings together fire and rescue services from across the U.K. to understand and utilize their own and others’ fire data to improve fire outcomes for communities.

UFV’s Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research provides research and consulting expertise on fire, crime and other public safety issues, and is committed to sharing data and best practices to encourage evidence-based decision making.

The results of research conducted through the agreement will be published on the UFV’s public safety research portal at http://cjr.ufv.ca. As part of the agreement, the CFOA will be developing a similar portal in the U.K. to collect and share research.

 Activities outlined in the agreement include:

  • Sharing and disseminating knowledge through research hubs and portals,
  • Facilitating research opportunities and data-sharing,
  • Facilitating the exchange of faculty and students for teaching, study and research,
  • Expanding the sharing and dissemination of knowledge with other partner countries, and
  • Identifying international funding opportunities to facilitate research and data-sharing.

Each party is responsible for meeting its own costs, and for ensuring the work adheres to relevant legislation and statutory requirements in both countries. The agreement and its parameters will be reviewed annually, and either party may terminate the agreement with three months’ notice.

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