SDH Stara Hut “127th Fire Ball” on Saturday 14th January 2017 in the Czech Republic.

The Chair of BFSA (London District)  Paul Basson took up an invitation to join SDH Stara Hut “127th Fire Ball” on Saturday 14th January 2017 in the Czech Republic.

It was a very fine evening of Celebration, Music, Dancing and of course Singing…….That famous Czech Fire Fighting song “Co jste Hasiči.”A personal gift from Paul Basson, Chair of BFSA (London District) was presented to Ales Vandas, the Commander of the Volunteer Firefighters.

“They crossed axe’s this time….and a very pleasant reciprocated surprise !!”

With over 250 guests attended, raising funds for the Volunteer Fire Service.

“The Fantastic Men & Women of SDH Stara Hut.”

2017 New Year Honours – Fire Service Recipients

Gerald Henry Sharp. Fire Surveillance Officer, Windor Castle.

Brian Derek Wood. National Resilience Assurance Team.

Donna Joanne Finch. Comm. Development & Safeguarding Manager. Essex F&RS.

Peter Kenneth Clark. Crossfire Team. London F.B
Simon James Jakeman. London F.B
Pirthipal Sing Kang. Service for fire rescue awareness & Comm. Cohesion. Nth. Kent.

Alex Bennett. Formerly CFO, Northumberland F&RS.
Christopher Davies. CFO, Mid & West Wales F&RS.
Trevor McIlwaine. Grp. Manager, Leicestershire F&RS.
Ann Millington. Chf. Exec., Kent F&RS
Jason Thelwell. CFO & Chf. Exec., Buckinghamshire F&RS
Ian Bell. Watch Manager, Scottish F&RS

UK Security Expo

Chair of BFSA (London District) Paul Basson out and about visiting the UK Security Expo, at Olympia London on 30th November 2016 , meeting up with Peter Joyce, who is the current Chair of The Emergency Planning Society London Branch. Peter was one of a specialist team of speakers at the 2 day event, discussing Counter Terrorism for Facilities Managers.


Under the guiding hand of Past President, John Craig the Chairman of Governing Council accompanied by the General Secretary attended a medal presentation event on Monday 28th November 2016 in Salisbury.
The BFSA Chaplain, Rev. Canon Thomas Woodhouse was presented with his Silver 20 year long service medal.
Commendation Medals were presented to retired Hampshire Chief Fire Officer, Malcolm Eastwood and the retiring Chief Fire Officer of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Brigade, Darren Gunter.

L-R: Past President, John Craig; CFO Darren Gunter, Malcolm Eastwood, Chairman, Frank Turner,
BFSA Chaplain, Rev. Canon Thomas Woodhouse.

A number of other BFSA members were present to support the event which took place after a very pleasant lunch.
Thanks also to the Wiltshire Retired Firefighters Association for their support.

The Finnsafe Conference

Newly Elected Chair of BFSA (London District) Paul Basson visit to “The Finnsafe Conference” in Helsinki, Finland on 23rd November 2016.
Paul is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters and the International member of the Association of Finnish Safety Managers. He was invited to give a Health & Safety presentation during the two day Safety conference to over 60 members and guests.
A personal gift from Paul Basson, Chair of BFSA (London District) presented to Petri Moisio, The President of The Association of Finnish Safety Managers on board M/S Mariella between Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki,Finland.
The print is Number 18 of 350 signed pictures by the Master and as part of The Worshipful Company of Firefighters contribution to the commemoration of the 350th Anniversary of the Great Fire of London, Liveryman Jeanne Brinton has commissioned the limited edition print showing two views of the City of London, before and after the Great Fire.
The views were drawn by the Czech artist Wenceslaus Hollar (1607 – 1677) and the original is held by the British Museum.

AGM 2016 revised date

BFSA AGM is scheduled to take place on the 19th November at 12:00pm, the venue will be The Training Centre, New princess Street, Holbeck, LEEDS, LS11 9BA.  Phone 03333 4 44199.  Food & Refreshments will be provided but the centre will need to know numbers attending and any dietary requirements in advance.

The Great Fire of London 350th Anniversary.

The first week-end of September proved to be a hectic one for the London District, which started with the arrival of 14 firefighters from the Stara Hut, Czech Republic on the Thursday and 6 firefighters from Grunheide, Germany arriving on Friday for their official visit to the London District on the Friday morning.

Paul Basson, Terezie Olicova, Alistair Milner would be looking after the Czech’s and Frank Turner and Martin Harris with the Germans.

Friday 2nd September the Czech’s had a packed programme…. kicked off by visits to LFB’s Edmonton Fire Station by kind permission of Steve West, Enfield Borough Commander, Ian Thompson Station Manager and Officers and Firefighters of White watch (LFB Liaison Big Thank you to Station Manager Daniel Alie).

Then onto London’s tourist high spot’s including a visit up the “Walkie Talkie tower” was on the agenda for our Czech visitors.

Whilst our Grunheide guests went to the Babcock Fire Training Centre at Becton, then onto their accommodation before being entertained at an evening meal at our General Secretaries house.

Saturday 3rd September  our Czech friends went on a tour of more of London landmarks, our German colleagues went to The Great Fire of London exhibition at the Museum of London.

Later we all joined up on Saturday evening and then descended on the Hilton Hotel, near Russell Square, for our commemorative Dinner.

Where 80 attendees  dined and were musically entertained by “The Cedar Quartet”.  Our Guest Speaker was Dr Hazel Forsyth, Senior Curator at the Museum of London, she gave us a short insight into the lives of ordinary people living through the Great Fire of London.

Our Vice Chairman Paul Basson took on the role of Chairman for the evening due to Peter Cowland being in the USA, with fellow BFFMC enthusiasts riding a Harley Davidson to New York….for the 15th Anniversary 9-11 memorial.


A minute Silence was observed…. For All our fallen Brothers and Sisters …”Firefighters around the world.”

All the Guests at the dinner where presented with a Royal Mint £2 coin memento of the Great Fire.


350_4President, Graham Howgate presented Dr Hazel Forsyth with a memento from the London District.








350_5350_6During the evening a many gifts were exchanged between the London District, The Master of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters,  The London Fire Brigade, guests and reciprocated by our overseas guests.


The Master of the WCOFF Bruce Hoad hands a Picture of the City of London before and after The Great Fire to Klaus-Peter Schulz , District Chief officer, Oder-Spree, Brandenburg, Germany.


Station Manager (LFB) Daniel Alie, in great conversation….with Gerhard Kantner, Squad Leader, German Fire Brigade through the interpreter Patrick Wegener and handed out LFB 150th pin badges to All the German and Czech Firefighter’s.


350_7350_8The Mayor of Stara Hut, Petr Dragoun presented to the President of the London District Graham Howgate a Village Pennant and a Fire Service Ribbon for our district standard.












350_9In the Centre Paul Basson Acting-Chair of The BFSA (London District) with Firefighters from Germany and Czech Republic.









350_10The Highlight was from our Vice Chairman of The BFSA, Frank Turner presented “The Honorary Members Medal” to The President of the Stara Hut Volunteer Fire Brigade, Milan Kadlec Snr.









An excellent response to the raffle and auction saw proceeds go to the London District, the Fire Fighters Memorial Trust and to R.A.F.T.

Guests including representatives from the Fire & Rescue Chaplains Association, Institute of Fire Prevention Officers, The FireFighters Memorial Trust, The Worshipful Company of Fire Fighters, The London Fire Brigade, The Emergency Planning Society, London Branch, The London Fire Brigade Retired Members Association, Capita plc, friends and families.

Sunday 4th September we had an unexpected  highlight of the week-end with a invitation to attend the GFL 350th special service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Where the London District members and all our overseas guests were escorted to the front seating which was a big surprise.

The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd & Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres, in his address to the large congregation, then mention the presence of our overseas guests and acknowledged us all when he was processing out of the Cathedral.

We owe a debt of  special gratitude and thanks to the Rev. Mia Hilborn, Chaplin to the London Fire Brigade for the arrangements at the Cathedral.

The London District Officers can be pleased with their efforts and the feed back  from other Fire related organizations was extremely positive.

“More special events to come, I am sure within the next year or two…”


Paul Basson

Vice- Chair BFSA (London District)

Emergency Services Show 2016

Vice-Chair of BFSA (London District) Paul Basson visiting the Emergency Services Show on 21st September 2016 with a pleasant surprise meeting up with Tony Thompson, The Chair of The Emergency Planning Society.

Paul has been an Associate member of the EPS East Midlands Branch for 17years.

Firefighters International Service of Remembrance

BFSA at the Firefighters International Service of Remembrance in London, Sunday 11th September 2016.

A Cheque for £200 from the 350th Great Fire of London Anniversary Dinner raffle was handed over by Vice-Chair (London District) Paul Basson to the Chair Colin Livett of The Firefighters Memorial Trust after the Firefighters International Service of Remembrance and Wreath laying Ceremony in London on Sunday 11th September 2016.

AGM 2016 – postponed

BFSA AGM is scheduled to take place on the 24th September the Venue will be The Training Centre, New princess Street, Holbeck, LEEDS LS11 9BA.  Phone 03333 444199.  Food & Refreshments will be provided but the centre will need to know numbers attending and any dietary requirements in advance.

New dates will be provided soon.