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Busman’s Holiday for French Firefighter

Date: 28th June, 2017

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) this week welcomed French firefighter Geoffrey Fillet to Service Headquarters in Salisbury, as he experiences the subtle differences between firefighting in the UK and France.

Geoffrey joined the Lot-et-Garonne Fire Service in 2011, having previously been a wholetime firefighter for the Paris Fire Service for eight years. Looking at developing his knowledge of the British fire service, he contacted DWFRS through the Prevention department at the French National Federation, who already had a professional relationship with DWFRS firefighter Phil Villain.

Phil, a French national, has worked for DWFRS since 1994 and was invited by the Fédération Nationale des Sapeurs Pompiers de France to deliver a presentation at the French Fire Service National Congress in Avignon in 2014. The presentation at the Conférence Prévention covered the UK Fire Service’s approach on prevention and the DWFRS Community Fire Safety model.

Phil and Geoffrey were able to finally meet earlier this year when Phil visited Agen, a city in south west France, in May. During this visit, Phil was met by the Chief Fire Officer Philippe Moineau and, as tradition dictates, he was given the full tour of Agen Central Fire Station.

Phil Villain said: “It’s a great pleasure to welcome Geoffrey to Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service for his two week stay. We have a packed scheduled planned, covering all the main aspects of our role in the community which we hope will be both educational and enjoyable.”

During his two week visit to DWFRS, Geoffrey will be meeting members of the Strategic Leadership Team and the heads of Prevention and Road Safety, as well as spending time with fire crews, the Safe Drive Stay Alive road safety campaign and Safe and Well teams.

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