The awards celebrate innovative working practices, initiatives, partnerships, technology and leadership in the fire and emergency services. The Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards unite suppliers and industry supporters with chief officers and their teams in order to recognise and applaud individuals, teams, partnerships and projects that will influence the future of the fire and emergency services.

Diane Dunlevey, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Equality and Diversity Manager, has been shortlisted for the Most Influential Woman in Fire award while Safer Communities CIC (Community Interest Company), led by Katherine Staples, has been shortlisted for the Team of the Year award.

The team‘s partnership work with The Prince’s Trust has meant that 119 young people in Staffordshire have been supported back into education, employment or training. They have expanded the courses to other areas, meaning they are accessible to a wider group of young people and have developed more local partnerships to ensure that they are supported in the months following the courses.


Diane Dunlevey has worked at a national level for many years providing advice within the Fire and Rescue Service sector to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion. Her work has contributed to improved outcomes for communities and her work also promotes social unity.

Diane has played a prominent role in supporting the work of the National Fire Chief’s Council and the Asian Fire Service Association, and she has worked with academics to highlight the issues faced around representation, engagement, volunteering and the application of the Equality Act.

Organisers of the awards said that the high calibre of diverse and inspiring nominations this year has been fantastic, giving the judges the unenviable task of picking out the finalists for each category.

The ceremony, which will be the fourth annual Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards, is being held on Friday December 8 in Westminster.

Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant said: “We are thrilled to learn that our staff have been shortlisted for two of these well respected awards.

“That in itself is a huge achievement and is testament to Diane and the CIC team’s hard work and dedication to their roles.

“The CIC team have displayed such incredible determination to make the biggest positive difference for the residents of Staffordshire.”