Peter Thorp, a Gloucestershire firefighter of 46 years standing, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours.

The award, for services to the Fire and Rescue Service and the community, is included in the New Year Honours List.

Peter, 62, from Bisley, near Stroud, has most recently managed the project to provide four new community fire stations and a ground breaking Life Skills centre for Gloucestershire.

The new fire stations will help firefighters meet their eight-minute response times and save more lives. The Life Skills Centre in Tuffley Lane, Gloucester will educate young people on all aspects of safety. It will be a unique interactive facility for schools, community and business groups and the public.

Peter said: "I have been extremely fortunate to have had 46 wonderful years working alongside many dedicated professional people, both on the frontline of firefighting and also within the areas of diversity and two major PFI projects. 

"I can honestly say there has not been a single day when I have not looked forward to going to work, and I suspect not many people can say that.  My wife Anne should also share this honour as I could not have achieved many of the things I have without her support."

Peter spent his first 35 years with the Service as a frontline firefighter and fire officer. He also had a spell on secondment at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh, where he led the Brigade Command Course for future leaders of the Service.

In the last 11 years, he has made a major contribution to the equality agenda, with his work in this area key to Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service having consistently the highest percentage of women employed of any fire service in the UK. It has also helped increase the number of people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds working for the service in the county.

Peter was also project manager for the first Tri Service Training Centre in the UK. Like the new fire stations project, this was built through PFI funding. It is used as an example of best practice in the current national training strategy.

His contribution provided not only a state-of-the-art facility, but took collaborative working between Gloucestershire, Somerset (now Devon and Somerset) and Avon, to a new level. This joint working came into its own during and after the floods in Gloucestershire in 2007.

Jon Hall, Chief Fire Officer, said: "Along with his many other achievements, Peter has led on the delivery of two large PFI projects; the nationally recognised Tri Service Centre and the new fire stations and Life Skills Centre project, which is shaping up to be just as successful.

"These have both been achieved against the backdrop of a tough economic climate and by relatively small project teams, who, like Peter, have shown huge enthusiasm and commitment.

"I would like to thank Peter for his dedication to improving the Service during his 46 years working in Gloucestershire and congratulate him on this deserved New Year's honour." 

Peter also plays a leading role in his local community. He is chair of Bisley Parish Council and the producer of his local theatrical society. He is also the Gloucestershire Chairman of the National Association of Retired Firefighters (NARF).

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: "This is a thoroughly deserved accolade for Peter, who has given 46 years of dedicated service to the county's fire service.

"The many projects and improvements he has delivered over the years have helped us to keep the people of Gloucestershire safe. With the new fire stations and Life Skills Centre project, this vital work is continuing."


Posted January 4th, 2012 at 1220 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: