Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (SFRS) Chief Fire Officer (CFO) has been honoured by a local university.

The University of Wolverhampton held their prestigious graduation ceremony for the Faculty of Arts at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Tuesday September 19, 2017.

CFO Becci Bryant was amongst those selected to receive honorary degrees, awarded to people the university felt have made a significant contribution to their field of expertise. Ms Bryant became an Honorary Doctor of Professional Practice, an award given in recognition of her contribution and achievements in the fire and rescue service, and for acting as an inspirational leader in the field. 

Becci said: "It is an absolute privilege to receive an honorary degree from a local university and I thoroughly enjoyed attending the prestigious graduation ceremony. It was very humbling to be in such inspirational company.

“When I started my career back in the 90s I never imagined I would be here today but my goal remains the same, to do my bit to help others and keep our communities safe. I’m very proud to be part of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and accepted this honour on behalf of the whole organisation.” 

At the time of her appointment as CFO Becci Bryant was the only woman in the UK to have achieved this prestigious position after beginning her career as an operational firefighter with Bedfordshire and Luton Fire Service in 1992.

fire chief receives honorary degree

After moving to Cheshire Fire Service in 2002, where she spent three years working within the Central Training Unit, Becci secured a promotion at SFRS in 2005 when she joined the Service as an Assistant Area Commander at Newcastle Fire Station and later took on the role of Area Commander at Tamworth.

In 2010, Becci took on the challenge of leading the Business Transformation Team at Headquarters where she implemented a host of innovative ideas to ensure that taxpayers continue to receive a first-class service that is excellent value for money.

Becci was then appointed as Director of Organisational Development where she led the joint fire control project between Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and West Midlands Fire Service.

In 2014 she became the first woman in the country to achieve the role of Executive Director/Deputy Chief Executive, having started her career as an operational firefighter, before securing appointment as Chief Fire Officer in April 2016.

Becci Bryant was the winner of the 2016 Most Influential Woman in Fire award at the Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards. If you know or work with a woman who you believe has made a discernible difference to the fire and rescue service, then nominate them to be 2017’s most influential woman in fire.

Nominations close 30 September and can be submitted here.