West Midlands Fire Service scoops two top awards

'Most Influential Woman in Fire' plus Birmingham Commonwealth Games honours



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Published on 9 December 2022

Excellence in Fire & Emergency Awards 2022

West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) has this afternoon taken top spot in two categories at the annual Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards.

It comes just a week after WMFS was unveiled as the UK’s Most Inclusive Employer.

The awards were presented at the emergency sector’s prestigious annual event in London, organised by FIRE magazine.

Chief Fire Officer, Phil Loach – who is due to retire in January after nearly three decades’ service – said he was delighted that WMFS was a finalist in nine out of 15 categories.

He said: “I want to congratulate all of the finalists, not least our colleagues at Shropshire Fire and Rescue which was named Emergency Service of the Year.

“We’re delighted to have won two of today’s awards. The experience, skills and professionalism of our winners is beyond measure.

“Their fantastic achievements demonstrate our sector-leading commitment to excellence, and their personal contributions towards achieving our vision of making the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier.

“Our communities will, I’m sure, also take pride in seeing their fire and rescue service being held in such high professional regard.”

A white, flame-shaped award on a table

West Midlands Fire Service was presented with the following awards at today’s ceremony:  

Emergency Service Collaboration of the Year – Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, held over 12 days, was the largest international multi-sited sporting event that the region had ever had to manage. The operation for Birmingham 2022 – named Operation Unity – was the biggest in the history of West Midlands Police (WMP), West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) and West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) – delivered whilst maintaining ‘business as usual’ operations.  The vision for a ‘family-friendly, safe and secure games’ was delivered through our dedication to making this an inclusive game for all – not just for our communities but also for our staff.

Most Influential Woman in Fire: Area Commander Sam Burton
As well as continuing to lead other essential functions within the service, during the last 12 months Sam has also led two significant projects: Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 and our hosting of the UK Recue Organisation’s Festival of Rescue. Sam as a visible role model for women, both within the service and those considering it as a career.

West Midlands Fire Service, along with others nationwide, has this year supported convoys of equipment sent to Ukraine, to be used by firefighters caught in the ongoing conflict. Many congratulations to everyone involved, whose efforts were recognised this afternoon as ‘Collaboration of the Year’.