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The Institution of Fire Engineers appoints first ever female International President

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The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) has announced that Hayley Burgess has been appointed to the position of International President.

This historic moment marks the first time in the Institution’s 105 years that a woman has held this esteemed role.

Hayley Burgess: A decade of fire safety expertise

Burgess, previously a Principal Fire Safety Consultant, has dedicated ten years to the private consultancy sector.

Her specialisation in social care environments has seen her guide clients through meticulous fire safety measures.

Moreover, she’s been instrumental in shaping fire strategy designs in the built environment.

Transition to leadership: A look into the IFE’s 100th AGM

Burgess’s investiture took place during the IFE’s centennial AGM on 17th October 2023. Dr Peter Wilkinson, the outgoing International President, was pivotal in ensuring a smooth transition.

The IFE has intimated that a recording of the AGM will be made accessible for its members through MyIFE.

On the subject of her new position, Burgess said: “I am both honoured and humbled to have been elected as International President of the IFE, and being the first female to do so is just incredible.

“To represent the IFE in an international capacity and to work with more of our outstanding volunteers is something I’m really looking forward to.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Peter Wilkinson, my predecessor, for his remarkable contributions; I look forward to stepping into his shoes.”

Many have expressed their congratulations and anticipate the fresh perspective and positive change Burgess is set to bring to the IFE.

IFSJ Comment

The announcement of Hayley Burgess as the International President of the Institution of Fire Engineers is undoubtedly a monumental step in the right direction.

The elevation of a female leader, for the first time in its long-standing history, showcases the IFE’s genuine commitment to fostering diversity and equity.

Burgess’s vast experience and her previous contributions to fire safety strategy designs augur well for the institution’s future.

Furthermore, her sentiments on collaborative work with volunteers and her respect for predecessors like Dr Peter Wilkinson underscore a promising future for the IFE under her guidance.

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