A Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) officer has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for Services to the Fire Service in The King’s New Year Honours List for 2023.
Station Manager Tom Hatfield joined Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2005 following military service with the Royal Engineers. He subsequently worked with West Midlands Urban Search and Rescue and International Search and Rescue teams before transferring to Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2018.
Tom is being recognised for coordinating the Service’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic which saw 10,000 vaccinations administered by Fire Service staff. He assisted with the set-up of vaccination hubs around the county which the Service supported with patient transfers and facilities logistics.
The medal, which is a British and Commonwealth award for civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown, will be presented to him later in 2023.
Upon hearing of his listing in the New Year’s Honours, Tom said:
“I am deeply humbled to receive this honour. I feel it reflects the aptitude and hard work of over 200 members of SFRS staff who came together from across the organisation during the COVID-19 pandemic to help the communities of Shropshire.
“These personnel took on additional responsibilities alongside their normal roles and this award is as much a recognition of them as it is of me.
“I’m grateful to have been able to play my part in the COVID-19 response, alongside NHS partners who worked tirelessly to help bring the pandemic under control.”
Chief Fire Officer, Rod Hammerton, said:
“This is well-deserved recognition of the excellent work Tom undertook in making sure Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service could play a full and effective role in protecting the public from COVID-19. Tom's energy, innovation and collaborative approach made a real difference to our community's protection."