EFE awardsFIRE magazine’s prestigious Excellence in Fire & Emergency Awards (the EFEs) has another category – the Most Influential BME Individual in Fire, sponsored by the Asian Fire Service Association.

The category announcement follows criticism by then Home Secretary Theresa May that the Fire and Rescue Service is 96 per cent white and 95 per cent male. Alongside the prestigious Most Influential Woman in Fire Award, launched last year, this new award seeks to be proactive in promoting the outstanding work of minority groups in the Fire Service. 

This year’s judging panel also has a strong female presence with Katy Bourne, Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex joining Jacquie White, NHS England’s Deputy Director for People with Long Term Conditions, and FIRE Correspondent Catherine Levin. The judging panel will again be chaired by Peter Holland, Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor.

Commenting on using the EFEs to promote equality and diversity in the Fire and Rescue Service, FIRE Editor Andrew Lynch said: “This is very much a statement of intent and a proactive response to Theresa May’s justified criticism of the Fire and Rescue Service. I hope the Home Office acknowledges our endeavour and join us in celebrating excellence in the emergency services. 

“Our judging panel and awards for outstanding woman and BME individual in fire highlight people who have made a positive difference to the Fire Service. There is outstanding work being done within the Service – we would like to cast a light on this activity to encourage young people from all backgrounds to join the finest Fire and Rescue Service in the world. 

“This is exactly what these awards are all about – celebrating success, promoting the best of the emergency services whilst facing the challenges head on.”

This year’s Excellence in Fire & Emergency Awards has received overwhelming support from industry with Gore Parallon, Securitas and Franklin Hodge partnering the event. On the day support will also come from Bristol Uniforms and Angus Fire. Category sponsors include: Innovation of the Year – Babcock; Emergency Services Partnership of the Year – Emergency Services Times; Supplier of the Year – FIRESA Council; Team of the Year – Franklin Hodge; Most Influential Woman in Fire – Gore Parallon; International Fire Professional of the Year – Institution of Fire Engineers; Most Influential BME Individual in Fire – Asian Fire Service Association; and Outstanding Contribution to the Fire and Rescue Service – Securitas.