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NFCC’s Celebrating Prevention Awards 2022 recognise Best Practice

10 December 2022

THE NATIONAL Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) recently held its inaugural Celebrating Prevention Awards at the organisation’s Prevention and Protection Conference, which ran in Derby. Both the conference and the awards proved to be a huge success.

Prevention colleagues from Fire and Rescue Services across the country were invited to nominate teams and individuals who are making a difference to prevention awareness in their communities. There were seven individual award categories. From the Safeguarding Star Award through to the Recognising Partnership Working Award, the esteemed Judging Panel were extremely impressed by the calibre and volume of nominations received.

Susannah Hancock, the NFCC’s recently appointed chief operating officer, led the Judging Panel. Hancock was joined by Neil Odien (the NFCC’s executive lead on prevention) and the NFCC’s CYP executive lead Phil Garrigan, who also hosted the awards. Other key members of the Prevention Board and Committee, including representatives from the Home Office, were also invited to adjudicate on these awards.

Big Impact Leadership

The main award of the night, the Big Impact Leadership Award, went to Dawn Whittaker, the NFCC’s lead on water safety and chief fire officer at the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, for her tireless passion and dedication to water safety campaigning. Donna Bentley, the NFCC's lead on strategic safeguarding, was highly commended in the same category.

The Safeguarding Star Award was bestowed upon the very deserving Kevin Johnson from the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, with the Kent Fire and Rescue Service picking up the top award for Community Safety.

Of course, the prevention ‘stars of the future’ were not forgotten, with 14-year-old Freddy Hodgson receiving the Young Persons Achievement Award for his attainments with the Northamptonshire Emergency Services Fire Cadets.

Important work

Commenting at the conclusion of the awards, Dawn Whittaker observed: “Thanks to everyone involved in organising and judging the inaugural Celebrating Prevention Awards and congratulations to all of the finalists. It was a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues again.”

Whittaker added: “The Prevention and Protection Conference benefited from so many fabulous contributions and reminded me exactly why we all do what we do and how important the work on prevention and protection is in the grand scheme of things.”

Following the positive feedback from all who attended, it’s envisaged that the Celebrating Prevention Awards will, in tandem with the Prevention and Protection Conference, become an annual event that grows each year.

*Further information is available online at www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk