RICHARD Lawrence, from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, has been given the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

The deputy chief fire officer (DCFO) has held the position in Hereford and Worcester since 2011 and 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 and was responsible for organising and delivering the largest deployment of pumps ever seen to the various flooded areas of the south of England.

This in turn saved thousands of properties and helped thousand more recover from the devastating floods of early 2014.

Mr Lawrence started his career in 1986 with Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and then moved to West Midlands Fire Service in 1989.

10 years later he moved back to Hereford & Worcester 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 Queen’s Fire Service Medal,” he said.

“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 medal for my role in that response.”

Chief fire officer Mark Yates said he was delighted to hear about his deputy’s award and said it is 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; such is the regard Richard is held both locally and nationally that he joins other more senior colleagues,” he said.

“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 Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service to make it one of the very best in the country is being recognised."