awards staff humanitarian operation florian

GMFRS staff members receive awards for humanitarian work in Lebanon

DURING an awards ceremony - hosted by Women in the Fire Service UK (WFS) - two staff members from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) have received awards for humanitarian work they have carried out.

The Women in the Fire Service UK event took place at the Fire Service College in Moreton in Marsh, on the evening of Friday, June 21, 2019.

Station Manager Steve Jordan from GMFRS was presented with a WFS Silver Award in recognition for his extensive humanitarian work over the years in making vulnerable communities safety and building relations with Lebanese Civil Defence. In addition Steve’s award was for collecting and delivering fire kit and equipment to poorly equipped Lebanese fire stations.

Receiving a WFS Bronze Award in recognition for her humanitarian contributions to improving fire safety in Lebanon, is Karen Rutherford - an Education and Skills Assurance Officer with GMFRS.

Organised by Women in the Fire Service UK and Operation Florian, Steve and Karen spent a week in Lebanon in January 2019, along with colleagues from other fire and rescue services, bringing years of experience and skills together to help make a real difference to local people.

Karen Rutherford said: “It was a big surprise to be recognised in this way by Women in the Fire Service UK for work carried out in Lebanon earlier on this year jointly with other fire and rescue services.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the event to collect my award, however my colleague, Sue Mallinson, went in my place and accepted it on my behalf.  

“On hearing about being nominated for and winning the WFS Bronze Award I was invited to meet our Chief Fire Officer, Jim Wallace, where we spoke about all of the work myself, Steve, and the others, have been involved with and how we volunteer to make a difference to people’s lives in countries such as Lebanon.

“Lebanon has the highest number of refugees per capita worldwide, with over one million displaced people registered there. Refugees live in tented dwellings or partially completed buildings and face many daily challenges around access to healthcare, education, poverty and risk of fire. 

“The week we spent in Lebanon was hard work with long and difficult days, followed by discussions and report writing late into the evenings, but it has been a great experience. I know that our visit will have made a difference, not only for those refugees living in such desperate conditions, but also to the firefighters on stations with their limited resources.”

The award consisted of a badge and certificate which were presented to recipients by the Chair of Women in the Fire Service UK, Dany Cotton, who is London Fire Brigade’s Commissioner.

CFO Jim Wallace said: “I am extremely proud of Karen and Steve, and our colleagues from the other fire and rescues services, who have volunteered their time – both recently and over the years - to make a huge difference amongst communities in need across the world.

“The WFS awards Karen and Steve have received are extremely well deserved and it is great that Women in the Fire Service UK arrange and encourage such humanitarian visits for fire and rescue staff members to get involved with, providing us with such opportunities to give even more.”

27/06/2019 11:07 AM