CHESHIRE was recognised as the top fire and rescue service in the country at a national awards ceremony.
The organisation won ‘Fire Service of the Year’ at the inaugural Emergency Services Awards held at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
Judges said that Cheshire had demonstrated exceptional all round performance and particularly praised its effectiveness at protecting local communities which has seen staff visit more than 300,000 homes to give out safety advice and fit free smoke alarms.
Chief fire officer Paul Hancock said: “I’m obviously delighted Cheshire has won such a prestigious award.
“It’s a just reward for the hard work and dedication of staff throughout our service. It reflects on the effectiveness of our fire safety prevention programmes and also the professionalism of our emergency response.”
Fire authority chairman David Topping said: “This is thoroughly deserved and reflects the pride and commitment demonstrated and evident from everyone connected with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service whether they are a firefighter, part of the support services, a volunteer or one of the authority members.”
The service’s key achievements over the past five years include:
fire-related injuries down from 133 in 2004-05 to 37 in 2009-10;
accidental house fires down from 675 to 470;
fires in businesses cut from 668 to 243;
arson attacks reduced from 1,398 to 580;
the delivery of over 300,000 home safety assessments – 65% of properties of all homes in Cheshire.
As well as the main Fire Service of the Year award, Cheshire was also commended in the Fire Service Innovation category and the Public Communication section.