Join Watford and Three Rivers community forum

The Fire Service is working 'Side by Side' with communities in Watford and Three Rivers

Communities in Watford and Three Rivers are successfully working together ‘Side by Side’ to create a safer, healthier and more prosperous district.

The ‘Side by Side’ project was launched a year ago to promote community safety and cohesion and to provide a forum for different community groups to share ideas and work together with the Fire Service.

There are now 20 community groups represented on the forum, who liaise with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service to discuss the needs of their particular groups and how best the Service can work with them to promote community safety.

Members of the forum are also able to use the facilities at Watford Community Fire Station, including a meeting room. Forum members have helped to promote equality and diversity in the Fire Service by taking part in Positive Action events.

These events are designed to encourage under-represented groups to consider a career in the Fire Service by making them aware of the opportunities available and the various roles of the modern day firefighter.

Keith Emsall, Executive Member for Community Safety says, ‘The Side by Side partnership has had a successful first year; creating lots of new relationships between the Fire Service and the communities they work alongside.

Most Read

‘The forum has provided a direct two-way link into parts of the community that we have struggled to reach in the past. It has enabled us to assess and manage risks and provide people with vital information to maintain their safety and wellbeing.

‘I look forward to seeing Side by Side develop even further in the years to come.’

Among the work that has taken place in the last year is a series of seminars in partnership with Community and Voluntary Sector Support (CVS) to help charity and voluntary organisations understand fire legislation and their role in relation to it.

Jon Smith, District Commander for Watford and Three Rivers and Chair of the Side by Side Forum says, ‘The enthusiasm of the forum members has been really positive and several new links have been established within the District.

‘There is a real desire to engage with the diverse communities in Watford and Three Rivers and several joint events have already been attended by Fire Service crews.

‘Side by side will continue to grow and develop some strong links with all communities in the Watford & Three Rivers District.’

The intention is for the forum to meet formally twice a year with regular contact in between. The next meeting will take place on January 19, 2011.

If you would like to know more, or are interested in joining the Side by Side forum, please contact Harjit Singh, Outreach Worker on 01923 481955 or email