Hertfordshire's Director of Community Protection Roy Wilsher has been decorated with the prestigious Queen’s Fire Service Medal at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the work of the fire service at both a local and national level.
Roy collected his investiture from the Prince of Wales earlier last weekend [24 Jan] in addition to his OBE and said he was "extremely proud" to receive the honour.
"It feels like a real recognition of my professional achievements and reflects well on Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service," he said. "I cannot do things alone and I am proud to lead such an excellent Fire Service as the one we have in Hertfordshire”
While serving as Chief Fire Officer for HFRS, Roy has worked tirelessly to create one of the highest performing and lowest cost fire services in the country. Some of Roy’s most significant successes in Hertfordshire include:
• Introducing the highly successful LiFE scheme; a practical course for young people, which focuses on reducing arson and anti-social behaviour, as well as problem-solving and building confidence.
• Leading the service through the largest peacetime fire in December 2005, when Roy acted as Fire Gold for the Buncefield Oil Terminal fire.
• Becoming Director of Community Protection at Hertfordshire County Council in 2011. This involved bringing together trading standards, emergency planning, community safety and the fire service to work jointly on all areas of safety.
• Preparing and overseeing a highly successful 2012 Olympic operation at the White Water Centre in Lea Valley and continuing with the many great successes that came from it.
Roy has also played a significant role on a national and international level, with key achievements including:
• Being the strategic lead for the UK rescue response for the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
• Being the Director of Operations for Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and Chair of Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP), a programme which aims to ensure all Blue Light Services work effectively together to build on joint emergency service national resilience and response capability.
• Vice chair of the Fire Service Strategic Resilience Board
• Acting as Operational Commander for the Paddington rail crash.
• Attending a number of major incidents, including the Putney gas explosion, the mortar bomb attack on Downing Street and the fire bomb attacks on Oxford Street.
Roy came to Hertfordshire in 2004, initially taking up the post of Deputy Chief Fire Officer and in 2005 was appointed Chief Fire Officer having started his career the fire service in 1981 with London Fire Brigade.