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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding


An IT whizz, a keen gardener and an apprentice at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters at Stone scooped top trophies in the annual MORE Awards.

Dave Atkinson from the ICT team won the Peter Harrison Innovation and Improvement Award; David Lawrence, Memorial Garden trustee won the Leadership Message Award and 20-year-old James Russell, a PFI Administrator, was named Young Person of the Year.

The 2013 MORE Awards at the Stafford County Showground saw a total of nine awards presented to members of staff, teams or local partners in recognition of the work they have done for, or with, the Fire Service over the past year.

Chief Fire Officer/ Chief Executive Peter Dartford said: "These awards are an important opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate the remarkable efforts and achievements of our colleagues, partners and authority members.

"However, these are just a few examples of the many extraordinary initiatives that are being undertaken across our organisation on a daily basis - within an increasingly challenging environment - and which consistently deliver positive improvements to the lives and wellbeing of local people."

Seconded to the ICT department from operational duties, Dave Atkinson has become "App Man." He was instrumental in developing a mobile phone app in conjunction with West Midlands Fire Service for crews to use whilst undertaking Home Fire Risk Checks. The app is thought to be the first of its kind used by fire services in the UK.

Dave Atkinson said: "It was great to have the recognition after such a lot of hard work. The other nominees deserved the award too, but im very pleased to have won."

David Lawrence has worked tirelessly to make the Memorial Garden at Stone headquarters a special place and many bereaved families comment that this garden of tranquillity makes their loss easier to bear. David’s nurturing skills reach far beyond tending plants to overseeing young volunteer gardeners with special needs.

David Lawrence, who is the Service’s Water Hydrant Manager, said: "I am really excited to win this award as I really enjoy the work I do and the time I spend in the memorial garden."

James Russell started as an apprentice and immediately stood out for his ability and maturity beyond his years. He has gone on to gain a full-time job as a PFI administrator. He was shortlisted for his determination to succeed, professionalism and excellent ideas. 

James said: "It was totally unexpected but fantastic. I have received great support from my colleagues. I started as an apprentice and that definitely helped me to get a full time job with the Fire Service."