Women in the Fire Service Award Winners Announced

We are delighted to announce the complete list of award nominees today, and reveal the recipients of the Women in the Fire Service Awards 2022. Our awards are designed to celebrate remarkable individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to their services and teams, and for the communities they serve.

Below you will find the full list of all sixty nominees and their Services, and our winners and runners-up share their feelings on what it means to them to be recognised. Join us in celebrating them!

“We hope this awards scheme has gone some way toward fulfilling a desire to celebrate each other, say thank you and put a smile on a colleague’s face. We all know the pressure on the sector’s professionals has been heightened during the pandemic, so a much needed morale boost like this is so important.”

Jules King, WFS Chair


Award Nominees:

Bright Light Award

  • Alison Dodd (Avon Fire & Rescue Service)
  • Amy Beams (Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Annabel Green (London Fire Brigade)
  • Ashley Tugby (Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Claire Page (London Fire Brigade)
  • Ellie Harrison (Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Hannah Caulfield (Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Hayley Agnew (Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Jenny Nangle (Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Jo Dawson (Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Julia Smith (Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service)
  • Lauren Woodward (Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service)
  • Lynne Bruce (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Odette Tattersall (Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Rebecca Rowe (London Fire Brigade)
  • Sue Mallinson (Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Tara Caulfield (Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Zoe Baker-Powell (Avon Fire & Rescue Service)

Dany Cotton Inspiring Leader Award

  • Amber Foreman (Avon Fire & Rescue Service)
  • Angela Opie (Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Craig Hallam (Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Ella Warden (West Midlands Fire Service)
  • Elsie Emery (Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Gale Coates (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Georgina Coop (Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Stefan Douglas (Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Vicky Best (Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Jennie Cranage (Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Karen Farr (Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Lauren Woodward (Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service)
  • Liana Selecka-Jones (Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Louisa Roger (Avon Fire & Rescue Service)
  • Richard Ryan (States of Jersey Fire & Rescue Service)
  • Stephanie Collinson (Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Uche Ihiekwe (Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service)

Exceptional Allies Award

  • Amy Croxton-Evans (North Wales Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Danielle Fairclough (Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Ellie Williams (Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service)
  • Emma Watling (London Fire Brigade)
  • Hannah Caulfield (Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Kate Garringan (Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Maxine Titley (Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Mia Temple (Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service)

Firefighter Rising Star Award

  • Bethany Lane (Cleveland Fire Brigade)
  • Jordan Bixley (Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Kara Simpson (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Katie Bluck (Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Lauren Fitzgerald (Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Martine Barr (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Rebecca Meachin (Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Rebecca Rowe (London Fire Brigade)
  • Susan Tattersall (Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service)

Young Person Role Model Award

  • Elisabeth Taplin (Avon Fire & Rescue Service)
  • Emily Checkley (Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Emily Hodson (Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Faatimah Mangera (West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Harry Moorse (Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Joolz Earley (East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service)
  • Lily Mae Bushell (Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Uroosa Arshid (Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service)

Award Winners and Runners Up

Bright Light Award

Joint Winner: Jenny Nangle (Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service)

In the award entry, Fire Safety Enforcement Officer, Jenny Nangle, was described as always being there to offer support, guidance or just a listening ear around any issues or frustrations. Striving for better conditions and working practices on behalf of all women, Jenny represents Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service on the WFS National Committee and is also the WFS North West Regional Rep. She also supports the planning of the annual WFS national event and helps to facilitate workshops. Jenny helps promote women working in the fire service at every opportunity, and is quick to support others with challenges. Jenny’s passion and drive was described as “infectious” with her tenacity ensuring that actions progressed to benefit women in the Service.

Jenny said: “Thank you so much for this award! I am really happy that my colleagues nominated me, and to be named the winner feels incredible. I’ve worked at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service since 2003. In that time, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many brilliant teammates. Although we don’t do this job for the awards, it really does feel great to have been recognised in this way. Thank you again.”

Serve + Protect, sponsors of the Bright Light Award category, said: ‘’It gives us great pleasure to sponsor the Bright Light Award, for someone who clearly lights the way for many others within her industry. Jenny’s hard work and determination to support her colleagues with the promotion of training and development, and her evident passion for progression clearly demonstrates how worthy she is of this award.’’

Award panel judge and WFS Vice-Chair, Caroline Anderson, said: “The Bright Light Award goes to Jenny for being the beacon of what all fire and rescue services stand for. She always goes over and above to help people in any way she can, promoting our values at every opportunity.”

Joint Winner: Sue Mallinson (Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service)

In the award entry, Prevention and Youth Engagement Training Officer, Sue Mallinson was described as regularly going above and beyond in all that she did with 110% commitment. Sue started the Service’s Women’s Success and Support staff network for women and allies in the workplace. The network has been successful and well attended and was launched by Dany Cotton. Sue was described as “tenacious”, being very much about looking after everyone else and making sure they had support no matter who they were. Sue continuously strives to make a positive impact within the organisation and goes out of her way to assist colleagues who need support. She runs the network in her own time and sits with colleagues as a stakeholder to design policy. An ambassador for GMFRS, Sue is an equality champion and stands up and is counted when it comes to overcoming bias, barriers or misogyny.

Sue said: “I am blown away to be a winner and I am testament to having empowered women to support me to achieve my absolute best.”

Award panel judge and WFS Chair, Jules King, said: “Sue is so deserving of this award. Undoubtedly a hugely positive force and a fantastic ambassador for GMFRS. We all need a bright light in the workplace, someone who not only champions women’s successes but who finds positive solutions through collaboration and supporting others.”

Dany Cotton Inspiring Leader Award

Winner: Liana Selecka-Jones (Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service)

In the award entry, Station Manager, Liana, was described as passionate about improving and shaping the future of the sector and a “fantastic role model”. Liana was instrumental in establishing Cumbria’s Women in the Fire Service (WFS) network, a positive action recruitment champions working group, and in supporting many colleagues within the Service through their development pathways. As well as this, Liana set up a WFS network in her previous Service in Gloucestershire and has supported the WFS Future Firefighter Programme as a volunteer, leading the way for other women to join the industry. Liana believes that everyone can fulfil their true potential, with the right support and encouragement in place. A commitment stemming from her own journey, when she came to live in the UK from Latvia and her local community supported her own career development.

Liana said: “It was only four years ago when I attended my first national Women in the Fire Service training and development weekend as a newly-promoted Crew Manager. I only had one year of service under my belt, and I felt slightly out of place because of my inexperience. I listened to Dany Cotton’s speech and that gave me the confidence and self-belief that I could be following in her footsteps one day. That is why this particular award means so much to me personally. I am very grateful for this recognition for a job that I love doing and I am so passionate about. It took me nearly 10 years to be successful in joining the Fire and Rescue Service. However, I never gave up on my ambition. Now as a manager, I try to remove barriers for those who are trying to join the sector and/or move up the ranks and try to create an environment where others can succeed through coaching and mentoring. Unfortunately, women and ethnic minorities are still very much underrepresented in our sector, and I try to use my own experiences of both failures and successes to support and inspire others.”

Category sponsors of the Dany Cotton Inspiring Leader Award, were Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

GMFRS Senior Womens’ Success and Support Network sponsors Ben Levy, Area Manager, Director of Corporate Support, Andrea Heffernan and Head of Health and Safety, Natasha Brayne GMFRS, said: “Liana’s contribution to the future of the Fire and Rescue Service, and her passion and drive to build upon her own experiences to champion equality and diversity should inspire each and every one of us. We congratulate Liana and all the winners and nominees at this year’s Women in the Fire Service Awards.”

Runner-up: Stefan Douglas (Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service)

In the award entry, Group Commander and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Stefan Douglas was described as an “incredible leader”, paving the way to building and developing a diverse workforce. Always there at the forefront of recruitment campaigns, positive action days and helping support a women only Aspiring Leader’s day. Stefan leads by example, calling out discrimination and bullying, and giving support and strength to others. Always there to listen without bias, he has worked with minority groups to help support them. Stefan works tirelessly, creating contacts throughout Northamptonshire’s diverse community, supporting minority groups, and nurturing relationships. Passionate about neurodiversity, Stefan helps to educate the service to understand more about its neurodivergent workforce and how they can all support one another.

Stefan said: “I have worked with Women in the Fire Service for 20 years and I actively support their mission to promote equality of opportunity for women in Service. It’s humbling to be nominated for this award and I am very grateful to my nominator and the panel for considering me.”

Award panel judge and WFS Chair, Jules King said: “Stefan’s dedication and commitment to champion and foster equality and diversity, to collaborate, and to support and inspire colleagues and communities shone through from the entries. So huge congratulations to Stef, a truly Inspiring Leader.”

Exceptional Allies Award

Winner: Hannah Caulfield (Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service)

In the awards entry, Station Manager, Hannah, was described as having been “a huge help” to colleagues, working hard to make new staff feel supported and putting processes in place to improve the job for female firefighters. Maternity, menopause and welfare facilities are just a few of the things Hannah has made huge positive changes to for staff in the service. Hannah has set up WhatsApp groups to provide support for staff on maternity leave and arranges regular meetups. She is also the Women’s Network Chair of Limitless, Cheshire Fire’s Women’s Network. Through her determination and leadership the network has continued to grow. The network offers a supportive environment for staff to share experiences, network, develop themselves and also help to shape improvements for all women who work in the Service. 

Hannah said: “I was very surprised to hear I had won this award but am incredibly humbled that I was nominated for two categories. It is a great honour to have been recognised by WFS; there is fantastic support for all staff within Cheshire, with the core belief being that people can completely be themselves at work, enabling us all to reach our full potential.”

Award panel judge and WFS Vice-Chair, Caroline Anderson, said: “Hannah epitomises the criteria for our Exceptional Allies Award in going that extra mile to promote gender equality and support. She has raised the profile of menopause and women’s issues with her Service and worked hard to bring women together, all while maintaining her full time job as a station manager and mum. Well done Hannah!”

Runner-up: Amy Croxton-Evans (North Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

In the awards entry, Station Manager Amy, was described as “an ultimate role model” and “leader” who stepps forward and challenges bias face on, without fear and with integrity. Through projects, initiatives, public speaking, television and education Amy has spent the last 10 years dedicating herself to being that leader. This includes helping create education packages for schools; empowerment days for teenage girls; a safe space group for Service members; coaching and mentoring; a mental health and well-being fund to support all service members; podcasts to inspire future firefighters; and tv appearances inspiring children with the message ‘you can be whatever you want to be, don’t be your own barrier’.

Amy said: “I’m honoured to have been recognised for the ongoing work and effort that I do for Women in the Fire Service, however I hope that I can be the inspiration and pillar of strength to other women, like the amazing women before me.”

Award panel judge and WFS Chair, Jules King, said: “Amy has gone the extra mile to promote gender equality in her service and to be an exceptional ally. Not only has she made a huge contribution in supporting and empowering colleagues but has acted as an outstanding role model to young people, helping pave the way for the next generation of firefighters.”

Firefighter Rising Star Award

Winner: Rebecca Rowe (London Fire Brigade)

In the awards entry, Firefighter Rebecca (Bex), was described as having demonstrated huge determination throughout her life and the path that led her to be a firefighter. A “visible role model” for women as a professional athlete, she demonstrated a huge level of resilience when faced with career ending injuries. When Rebecca no longer played professional sport she turned her attention to how best she could represent women and became a firefighter at the age of 37. Her passion and drive to see other women succeed is described as “infectious”, and the love of her job is so clear to see that Bex’s fiancé Kirsty also applied to be a firefighter. Rebecca is one of an all-female team of five, the Antarctic Fire Angels, training to ski coast-to-coast across Antarctica in 2023 to help eradicate gender stereotypes and to increase awareness of the impact of poor mental health.

Rebecca said: “I’m very shocked and honoured to win the award as there are so many other amazing firefighters out there. I don’t do the job for praise, but to make someone’s worst day slightly better if I can. For me—it’s the best job in the world and it never feels like a job.”

Award panel judge and WFS Patron, Dany Cotton, said: “I’m delighted that Bex has been awarded the Rising Star Award. Her passion and dedication make her a fabulous role model for women of all ages and her determination is a reminder to all of us to never give up!”

Runner-up: Katie Bluck (Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

In the awards entry, Crew Manager Katie, was described as a “shining star” and a dedicated member of the Fire Service supporting others in their journey. Katie completed a course with Gower College to be a ‘Mental Health in the Workplace Practitioner’ to support her colleagues. She is also qualified as a ‘Frontline Coach & Mentor’ through the University of South Wales, benefitting the 5 firefighters that she leads at Pontardawe. Katie has also been involved in Female Awareness Sessions and webinars to raise consideration for the Service. She has shared her experiences as a firefighter with the Universities Public Service students prior to their graduation. Katie has brought a positive outlook to the Service and the role, and truly oozes the message “If it scares you, excites you and makes you grow, then the likelihood is that it is going to be an adventure!”

Katie said:  “I am delighted to have been nominated for the WFS ‘Firefighter Rising Star Award’, and I feel very grateful to have received runner-up in the category. ​Thank you for recognising my achievements so far on my journey within the Fire and Rescue Service. I would like to personally extend this recognition to the supportive and progressive colleagues that I am surrounded by who enable me to continue to pursue my aspirations.”

Award  panel judge and WFS Vice-Chair, Caroline Anderson, said: “Katie’s dedication to supporting the mental health of her colleagues and her strong positive outlook and attitude is why she was nominated for the Rising Star award and deservedly so!”

Young Person Role Model Award

Winner: Uroosa Arshid (Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service)

In the awards entry, Firefighter Uroosa, was described as “engaging, honest and captivating”. Uroosa joined Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2019 as an Apprentice Firefighter stationed at West Bridgford Fire Station, becoming the first hijab-wearing firefighter in the UK. Uroosa has overcome many barriers and challenges to achieving a lifelong ambition to become a firefighter. As the first hijab-wearing firefighter in the UK—Uroosa shared her story with the world—and her passion, enthusiasm and determination to succeed. Many young people wrote to thank her for sharing her story. A positive role model, Uroosa has shown young people they can succeed at whatever they put their minds to. Uroosa is passionate about ensuring young people can see someone who looks and sounds like them, working in the Fire Service.

Uroosa said: “It is such an honour to have been nominated and to have won this award. It is an overwhelming feeling because it is not something I set out to do, I just wanted to achieve my dream of becoming a firefighter. However, my story has helped inspire other people, which is something I am extremely proud of. Thank you to my family and colleagues, as this wouldn’t have been possible without their ongoing support.”

Award panel judge and WFS Patron, Dany Cotton, said: “I am so delighted that Uroosa has won the Young Person Role Model award. She is an outstanding role model whose positive attitude has inspired so many people. I can’t wait to meet her!”

Runner-up: Faatimah Mangera (West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service)

In the awards entry, Faatimah, is described as having an “infectious can-do positive attitude to life with a sense of humour to brighten anyone’s day”. Since completing the Prince’s Trust Team programme, she has delivered several disability awareness sessions to groups of young people working with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. She inspires others through her humour and openness and determination to achieve her goals. This has been reflected in the young people she has met and supported in their individual journeys. Faatimah has developed her confidence and self-worth and applied this to her life. She has been valuable in her contributions to not only the Youth Interventions Team, but more importantly, to the young people she has peer mentored and shared her story and experiences with. She has helped shape the way the team works with young people and helped to increase the quality of the work the Service carries out with young people with disabilities.

Faatimah said: “I like helping the younger youth change their ways of thinking, it just comes naturally to me, so I’m humbled to be recognised. You can’t make change without being heard and putting your voice out there. I am really honoured and grateful to have been thought of for this prestigious award.”

Award panel judge and WFS Patron, Dany Cotton, said: “Faatimah is such a worthy runner up in the Young Person Role Model Award. She is such an inspirational young woman whose positive influence reaches so many different groups of people.”

Thank you to everyone who submitted entries to the Women in the Fire Service Awards 2022, and especially to our Award Sponsors: Cold Cut Systems; Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and NFCC End Point Assessment Partnership; Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service; Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service; and Serve + Protect.

Images © Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service; Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service; London Fire Brigade; Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service; Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service; Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service; Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service; Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service; North Wales Fire and Rescue Service; and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.