HEREFORD and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Richard Lawrence has been given the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

DCFO Lawrence, who has held the position in Hereford and Worcester since 2011, received the award in recognition of his distinguished service.

In addition to his day job as DCFO, on a voluntary basis, he is the Chief Fire Officers Association’s National Capability Lead for High Volume Pumps (HVPs), responsible for the strategic assessment and deployment of the nation’s fire service HVPs.

As such, he has been responsible for organising and delivering the largest deployment of HVPs seen to the various flooded areas of the south of England. That, in turn, saved thousands of properties and helped thousands more recover from the devastating floods of early 2014.

DCFO Lawrence started his career in 1986 with Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS), then moved to West Midlands Fire Service in 1989. Ten years later he moved back to HWFRS and took up the position as Station Commander at Redditch Fire Station. He has continued to move through the ranks and became Deputy Chief Fire Officer three years ago.

“I am very honoured and delighted to be awarded the QFSM,” said DCFO Lawrence. “I’m extremely proud of the work that the fire service does in protecting our communities and of all the dedicated staff who contribute to this both locally in Hereford and Worcester and across the country.

"The fire service response to challenges such as the significant and widespread flooding that affected much of southern England earlier this year reflects this and I am very pleased to receive the QFSM for my role in that response.”

Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates said he was delighted to hear about his deputy’s award, saying it was richly deserved.

“Richard is an officer of the highest calibre and it should be noted that this award is only occasionally given to a Deputy Chief Fire Officer," said CFO Yates.

"Such is the regard Richard is held both locally and nationally that he joins other more senior colleagues.

“To alleviate wide-area flooding across the country Richard has worked tirelessly for many years to organise the country's high-volume pumping capability and I'm delighted his hidden work is being recognised.

"I'm also sure his excellent work in HWFRS to make this service one of the very best in the country is being recognised."