Phil Hales, who retired as our Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) earlier in 2019, has been awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal (QFSM) in the New Year Honours list.
The accolade, which recognises his distinguished service, was announced today (Saturday 28 December).
Mr Hales served with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service before spending nine years with West Midlands Fire Service.
As DCFO of the country’s second largest metropolitan fire service, he led on many aspects of the provision of emergency and safety services to nearly three million people across the seven council areas of Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Coventry and Solihull.
Reacting to the news of his honour, Mr Hales said: “I have had a fantastic career in the fire service and am extremely proud and humbled to have been recognised in the New Year Honours.
"My Queen's Fire Service Medal is also very much a tribute to the fantastic work of colleagues in all roles who, through their commitment and professionalism, made my job so special.
"It is a fitting recognition, too, of the amazing support I have had from my wife, Diane, and my family."
Phil Loach, Chief Fire Officer, said: "The QFSM is thoroughly deserved recognition for Phil's sustained commitment to public service.
"Here in the West Midlands he was central to our service being officially graded as outstanding for emergency response.
"He was responsible for making the national fire service an integral part of The Prince's Trust, changing the lives of young people up and down the country. He was also an outstanding advocate for The Fire Fighters Charity."
Councillor Greg Brackenridge, Chair of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, added:
"I congratulate Phil on receiving the QFSM. I wish him and his family all the very best on what must be a very proud moment for them.
"West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority is proud of the outstanding service, selflessness and professionalism routinely demonstrated by our firefighters and staff in their duties to the people we serve. It is particularly gratifying when one or them receives an honour."
Mr Hales is expected to be presented with his QFSM at a ceremony in London in 2020.