Fire brigade hires first PA manager

London Fire Brigade has brought in its first public ­affairs manager as it prepares to step up its lobbying activities.

Action on Smoking and Health UK public affairs manager Ian Willmore will take up the newly created role on 23 October, reporting to head of communications James Flynn.

He arrives after three years with ASH, which has successfully campaigned for smoke-free workplaces and public areas. At London Fire Brigade - the third largest fire brigade in the world - he will campaign for ­sprinklers to be fitted in all schools in the capital and for changes in legislation regarding the storage of ­acetylene cylinders, used in the construction and welding industries.

‘There is a big problem with the storage of these cylinders in London. They can explode like a bomb so if they are in or near a fire, they have to be left to cool for 24 hours, causing massive disruption to businesses and commuters,' Flynn told PRWeek.

Earlier this year, Kings Cross station was closed for two days because of a fire near some cylinders. The M11 was closed for 24 hours in February for the same reason.

Before ASH, Willmore spent six years as media co-ordinator at Friends of the Earth.

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